Little-known data brokers know more about you than your closest friends

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The little-known companies that underpin millions of transactions on and off the internet probably know more about you than your closest relatives or friends.

Why it matters: Data brokers have been around for decades, but they've grown increasingly powerful in the internet era due to their ability to instantaneously capture information about people as they surf the web.

Equifax's stolen data hasn't surfaced

In this image, an iPhone is held close to the viewer against a green and black background of 1s and 0s. The phone screen is a white background with the logo 'Equifax' displayed in red.
Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When the Equifax breach was first disclosed back in September 2017, a lot of people were waiting for all kinds of identity theft. So far, though, that hasn't happened.