The WSJ digs into Yodlee's "side business" and asks the question: Are analysts able to “re-identify” people in anonymized Yodlee data sets and should Yodlee be allowed to sell this this type of data?
Investment firms have used Yodlee’s data to compare purchases made by visitors to specific theme parks owned by SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., including SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, say people familiar with the situation. Investors can zoom in on transactions related to tickets, merchandise, food and parking. SeaWorld’s securities filings and earnings announcements disclose only the company’s overall revenue from admissions and “food, merchandise and other” sales. SeaWorld declines to comment. Yodlee, based in Redwood City, Calif., hasn’t publicly disclosed that it sells the data to investment firms. Before its initial public offering last year, Yodlee said it provides data for “multiple research uses,” such as “to enhance predictive analysis.”