The New York Times reports that reputation management company Reputation.com is preparing to launch a new data vault that will allow consumers to use software permissions to control the release of their personal information to third party advertisers. The system would act as a gatekeeper for the release of personal information online; in exchange for coupons or other items of value offered by third party advertisers, a participant in the data vault program could release limited personal information. Additionally, participants in the program can pay to have their personal information removed from third party databases.
This new program is a part of an evolving trend of privacy-oriented information brokers. It will be interesting to see whether these private solutions will be enough to stave off congressional regulation, which seems to be inevitable.