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Definition: information broker


(1) A company that collects and sells personal information about individuals in order to create ad campaigns that target people with specific tastes and preferences. Information brokers purchase data from telecom and tech companies as well as collect data from credit bureaus, government and other public records. Also called a "data broker." See people search.

(2) An individual who searches for information for clients. Information brokers use various resources including the Internet, online services that specialize in databases, public libraries and books. They also make plain old-fashioned telephone calls. The word "broker" is a misnomer. Information retrieval consultant would be more accurate. Sue Rugge and Alfred Glossbrenner wrote an excellent book on the subject, "The Information Broker's Handbook." See Web search engines and people search.