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Aussie Bank Wants To Trade Social Network Data For Better Deals

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the free-implanted-heads-up-display dept.

Privacy 68

natecochrane writes "An Australian bank has raised the possibility of offering better deals to customers who share its social network activities with it. But at the same security conference at which Commonwealth Bank's CIO made the suggestion, another speaker, security guru Bruce Schneier, warned of the dangers of vendor lock-in. Would you trust your bank — or any institution — to be the gatekeeper for your private data and thoughts in return for a cheaper mortgage or percentage points off your credit card?"

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That sandwich will never know bread! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38058946)

Slashdot is foolish, and so are you!

Look at it this way... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38058956)

Everyone who currently makes advertising money off my personal data doesn't share it with me. This way I'd at least be getting something.

depends.. how good deals? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059008)

it's not like the bank can start doing real profit from that too much.

sounds like gimmick marketing towards younger folk. customers should ask for the same deals without it or threaten to switch banks.

Re:depends.. how good deals? (3, Interesting)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059104)

Probably the banks already offer better discounts for people that use credit in a sane way, or have anything to lose in a bankrupcy. It is a different kind of market, and those people probably won't want this smaller discount.

Anyway, gimmick marketing toward young people is very important for companies that have a long term relationship with clients (like banks). We are seeing an example of banks being smart the right way (instead of being dumb managers and smartly stealing from governments to compensate). That is a nice change of tone.

Re:depends.. how good deals? (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059192)

Really ? Our info is worth quite a lot in numbers to marketers and speculators... Now they would get not only your worth and banking habits but the rest of your activities as well... Not good.

Re:depends.. how good deals? (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059854)

FTA I think it's more than just gimmick - the banks see amazon/ebay/paypal encroaching on banking turf, so the bank is trying to expand into web portal turf to compete.

And whether its banking turf or web turf, we customers are the turf they battle on, and whatever remaining wealth we may have is what they battle for.

Re:depends.. how good deals? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38064958)

And if you don't use social networking do you still get the deal?

Re:depends.. how good deals? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069238)

it's not like the bank can start doing real profit from that too much.

sounds like gimmick marketing towards younger folk. customers should ask for the same deals without it or threaten to switch banks.

Actually, you can profit from personal data quite a bit. You sell it to marketing companies who sell the analysed results of that data to the companies who sell products which can be specifically targetted at such individuals. Seeing as you know who they are and how to contact them, that data is quite valuable.

Now under Australian law, banks are not permitted to do anything untoward with personal data. They have your credit card records, everything you bought, where you shop frequently and so forth. A small fraction of that data would be worth a large fortune on the open market. This looks like Comm bank's attempt to get around government regulation on selling personal data. Seeing as it's collected with the "knowledge" and "consent" (why isn't there a HTML entry for air quotes) of the user, they can sell the data to third parties who can harass^W advertise specific products to specific people.

I trust banks as far as I can throw them, Comm bank doubly so after this.

Happily (4, Interesting)

Walterk (124748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059014)

Considering my facebook account is empty - and purposefully so - yes, I would happily share additional lack of information for a better deal.

Re:Happily (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059738)

For me, it doesn't exist. ;)

Re:Happily Amish (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060018)

I purposefully don't use a computer, you English.

Re:Happily Amish (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060444)

Then, how are you posting? :P

Re:Happily Amish (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060720)

He's using butterflies [xkcd.com]

Where are the regulatory agencies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059026)

Since when has a bank's role expanded to include selling behavioural and psychosocial data? Perhaps they should stick to simply lending money (as a commercial bank should) or, separately, investing money (in an investment banking role) rather than treading beyond their pervue into all this nonsense? Yes, quite rhetorical.

It's all very simple -- they want this data because they feel it has value, and that value is realized only when they sell it to some other party in the future.

At least... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059066)

*they* are shameless about it.

of course people will! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059074)

Since when have people EVER cared in the slightest bit about what happens to their private data?

Just look at the millions of sheep posting the minutia of their lives on Facebook, letting their friends network be sold by other people to who knows who, letting their every move on the net be sliced, diced, analyzed and sold to _anyone_.

People don't care. They'll jump all over this if it'll save them five dollars. Hell, they will probably do it for free, just because their friends do it. People follow the pack, they don't think for themselves.

Of course people will willingly give up this data. Pretending they don't is to ignore the present reality.

Of course! (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059082)

As long as they can deal with the fact that I'm a 90 year old female that lives in 90210.

Oh, you mean we have to tell the truth? Somewhere there is an entire branch of statistics dedicated to throwing away the mandatory answers I give to some websites.

Re:Of course! (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059206)

Well you don't want them assuming you're dying and closing your account on you do you... Or sending a few hawks to try and sell you on a reverse mortgage... Man, humanity hath no mercy or shame.

Re:Of course! (1)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059272)

As long as they can deal with the fact that I'm a 90 year old female that lives in 90210.

That's precisely what they want to know. Giving a different answer on every web form lowers your learned-helplessness score to almost zero. They won't want your business. You might not blindly pay charges you don't understand for services you didn't know you needed.

These bonuses are the banking equivalent of free drinks at Vegas. No one drinks free who isn't losing far more than the drinks are worth.

You think the smart people will simply head off to the smart banks that don't go in for this nonsense? Then how is it that the credit card companies have convinced retailers not to discount cash? People who pay cash miss out on all the great CC swag.

Ultimately they get you coming or going.

Re:Of course! (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059378)

Then how is it that the credit card companies have convinced retailers not to discount cash? People who pay cash miss out on all the great CC swag.

Contractual strong arming. The CC companies just won't deal with retailers who offer cash discounts. Most of the time, though, if you can talk to a real decision maker like the owner or an actual manager, you can ask for and receive a cash discount.

Re:Of course! (3, Insightful)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059480)

If you're getting more than a 3% discount it's probably because they aren't planning on paying taxes on your purchase, not because they can skip the CC fee. Visa and MasterCard are in the 2.5-3% range mostly, Amex is a fair bit higher. Plus deposit fees plus the time you have to pay employees to balance the cash in tills aren't free.

Re:Of course! (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060570)

If you're getting more than a 3% discount it's probably because they aren't planning on paying taxes on your purchase, not because they can skip the CC fee. Visa and MasterCard are in the 2.5-3% range mostly, Amex is a fair bit higher. Plus deposit fees plus the time you have to pay employees to balance the cash in tills aren't free.

That's also a possibility. I paid a tow-truck driver in cash once, and that's exactly what he said.

One reason that CC companies can charge n% is that cash does have a tendency to grow legs and walk away. When you're dealing with the owner of the business that's not a problem, but he could be under-reporting to the tax men.

Aside from fraud, the owner might take cash because he can use it to pay his bills, *right now*. Checks take a few days, but CC transactions take longer and are subject to recall.

Re:Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059892)

In many places it is actually the law that the credit and cash price must be the same. It's a "bread and circuses" thing. People got upset over gas stations in particular having a cash price and credit price. So they complained to their representatives who passed crazy rules against the practice of having different prices for cash vs. credit. They did this knowing full well that the merchants get less profit from credit transactions so they would raise the cash price slightly to make up for it and then just have one price.

Re:Of course! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38065250)

It's not the "law" it's in their credit card contracts. The same with charging a minimum. (Go through some time and read the contracts that people sign to accept credit cards).

You also can't charge MORE, but you can offer a discount. (How this is different, I don't know).

I've spoken to a few managers when I was told that to run my credit card it would be a $20 minimum even though I only wanted 1 drink. I sent a very polite letter to each of the big 3 credit card companies, explaining what happened and the next time I went back that requirement was gone. I don't pull that on Mom & Pop stores but if you're going to make a deal about it then I'm definitely going to cause trouble.

Re:Of course! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060666)

That's precisely what they want to know. Giving a different answer on every web form lowers your learned-helplessness score to almost zero. They won't want your business. You might not blindly pay charges you don't understand for services you didn't know you needed.

I see a business model emerging to set up and maintain phoney on-line personnas. Respectable ones, with Photoshopped pics of you shaking hands with Nelson Mandella, stories about your work with World Vision and your numerous contacts in the corporate/finance world.

This has been done (manually) for years by some motivated people. But it took time and money. Now that our lives are all on line, break a few CAPTCHAs, automate the process, ????, and profit! You don't even have to leave the comfort of your mom's basement.

Re:Of course! (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061928)

That's precisely what they want to know. Giving a different answer on every web form lowers your learned-helplessness score to almost zero. They won't want your business. You might not blindly pay charges you don't understand for services you didn't know you needed.

Interestingly enough, that's the exact same reasoning why neither prosecuting or defending attorneys want a juror that even hints at the phrase of jury nullification. The prosecutors don't want you because it's harder to get a conviction. The defense doesn't want you because you just demonstrated intelligence and won't be easily swayed by weak arguments.

Re:Of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060920)

What, you mean people might not believe me when I claim I was born on Jan. 1st, 1900 in Uzbekistan?

Re:Of course! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38065002)

But don't they know this basic info already? Don't people still have to apply for bank accounts in person? Or are some able to apply to a major bank without ever needing to show proof of identity, address, contact info, beneficiary, etc?

My bank already knows my penis length (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059100)

cheaper mortgage

If you have applied for a mortgage (at least with any bank I've ever done it with), they know a *lot* more than who your Facebook friends are. Most of my social stuff isn't secret anyway. Compare that to the fine-toothed comb they went through my credit history with, and I'm pretty sure I would take this deal.

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (1)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059222)

You're going to need that time machine, better improve the specs ! ;-)

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059266)

You could ask them to add a few percentage points to an under-performing asset.

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059438)

Hey, my girlfriend says three inches is perfectly normal!

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059852)

I built a time machine that can take me two days into the future in only 48 hours. Its applications are somewhat limited

Dimitri Martin's version is funnier ;)

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060458)

And Stephen Wright's is even funnier than that.

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38067650)

I really doubt that. Did he had unnecessary bells? If so, did he love them?

Explaining a joke while making it ("Its applications are somewhat limited") kills all the funny.

Funnier != Older

Re:My bank already knows my penis length (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38063086)

Hell, I'd whip out "Stubby" for Penis_Length_In_ Inches = Mortgage_APR, too!

All that different? (2)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059134)

Is it really all that different to the implicit arrangement we have now: credit card companies and banks mining our purchasing habits to sell to advertisers? Or what facebook, advertisers, and every online presence with a "Like" button does? If anyone is worried about vendor lock in, they should have already abandoned Facebook and the like. Uprooting and changing banks is not nearly as difficult as, say, migrating email addresses, let alone going to a different social network (even if such a thing were possible).

It's like rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059154)

If you're already getting fucked, you may as well lay back and enjoy it.

Right?

Re:It's like rape (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059646)

There's something about a knife that saps all the joy.

Yeah, but 1/2% is 1/2% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060972)

I mean, come on - people are ready to sell their kids for a half a point on their mortgage. And I'm talking about the young, cute ones, not just the teenagers!

Re:Yeah, but 1/2% is 1/2% (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062000)

That makes sense! The teenagers, while annoying, at least can get employed. The young cute ones, who are still annoying, are just leeches.

http://www.ustream.tv/theother99 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059220)

disarm the sociopath genocidal weapons peddlers, who are excessively paid by our 'rulers' with our tax dollars to excessively arm our 'public servants' against ALL of US, & our billions of genuine human allies world wide..

Private Data (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059236)

There's nothing I put out there, on a blog, comment Facebook, or even (especially) Twitter, that I'd consider to be private information. The stuff I had to reveal to get approved for my mortgage, however, that was private information. See the difference?

So what? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059246)

Create a fake site on facebook and give that to these idiots.

That's not fake - it's just an additional nym (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061818)

I've only got one Facebook account, and I don't use it very often. But I've got multiple Twitter accounts - one's named something like "dontfollowme", because some newspaper insisted on using Twitter logins for comments. If a bank really wants low-quality Facebook data, they'll find I have no friends, but I'm a fan of several random not-currently-produced TV programs or brands of cheese or something.

Good deal (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059286)

If my bank would suggest something like that, the best deal would be another bank.

Do I have to give them my real account? (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059300)

What is to stop you from just creating a new ID to give the bank, that you fill with pictures of puppies, and beige Corollas?

I, like most of my friends are more mature now, but as a younger man I would have made up an assumed ID to post my pics of unacceptable behavior.

Re:Do I have to give them my real account? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38060006)

Are you more mature because you resigned yourself to accept that some behaviors are unacceptable, or because you stopped being influenced by the opinions of the people who find them unacceptable?

Re:Do I have to give them my real account? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061854)

Neither - he's gotten mature enough to decide to include the pictures of puppies and beige cars, instead of the pictures of him engaging in unacceptable behavior.

Re:Do I have to give them my real account? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068564)

Depends on the Australians behind the bank.
Alan Bond, Christopher Skase, Nugan Hand, The Dodgy Brothers, BCCI ...

The catch (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059314)

From TFA:

Owning such a huge chunk of an online persona - the bank will charge higher fees to those who don't accept its offer or who have money elsewhere - creates huge switching costs should the customer wish to defect.

What company won't "leverage" this lock-in once uts established to increase prices

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059316)

That is all.

A real leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059326)

This is the same bank that can't provide CVC checks for most of its credit card transactions for its card holders or merchants. There is no hope of doing simple address verification for online orders so fraud rates are quite high and the only thing that is limiting that type of fraud is the high demand for housing so there is a lack of empty houses to use as delivery points for goods ordered using stolen cards.

Multiple email and social network uses (1)

sbinning (541293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059342)

I treat these networks like I treat email. I have multiple email accounts and multiple social networks accounts. Find an email provider that provides filtering and forwarding.
Mine are roughly divided like this; 1) Personal, close, true and trusted friends and selected family members. 2) A business account for legitimate and legal uses. One for each business. 2) Social contacts, acquaintances, blogs, SOME social media sites. 3) Throw away accounts, may or may not use a pseudonym with significantly different demographics. This is used for sites that demand a valid email address. This account is rarely check except to hassle Nigerian scammers. Use your imagination for other possible uses.

hell no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059370)

Would you trust your bank — or any institution — to be the gatekeeper for your private data and thoughts in return for a cheaper mortgage or percentage points off your credit card?"

HeLL NO!

Market deciding how much privacy is worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059410)

I have to wonder: is our privacy worth more to us than is our data worth to them? That brings us to the question of how much our privacy is worth to us. My worry is that when we see people en masse surrendering their privacy for a $50 instant on a TV, everyone else will say that the market value of an individual's privacy is fifty bucks. The market has spoken! Not too much later, the market will also determine that our dignity is worth about $250.

Not "trade"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059450)

BUY. They want to buy your data.

Dummy account (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059462)

Just create a dummy facebook/twitter/google+ account for situations like this... problem solved.

Across the board cost hike, phony discount? (2)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059492)

Why does this sound like one of those 'deals' that simply becomes a rate hike for everyone and the discount for disclosing information just puts you back at the normal price?

Or they introduce a new fee or surcharge for not providing this info?

Or becomes one more bogus way to manufacture fake lending risk (like driving records) -- how would you like your Facebook profile factored into your credit score?

The banks have no credibility - make your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38060396)

Nobody believes anything they say anymore. We need to create our own bank databases that store our own currency. There is no reason to use central-bank-issued currencies anymore. Creating banks, currencies, credit systems, currency exchange systems, and credit cards are all becoming decentralized.

Here is the question. (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059736)

How do we educate the not so tech savy population who don't really understand what they are doing by giving this information away? I think ideas like this are going to become mode widespread over time. It's bad enough all the information Facebook and Google have on me, never mind whoring it out to third parties like banks.

Re:Here is the question. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061988)

Let them be. You can't do more than try to inform them, you can't force them to listen.

See the bright side of it. If Facebook, Google et al have enough sheep to herd, they won't want to catch us.

Great(!) (1)

aaaurgh (455697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38059780)

Sounds like I'll be propping up the bank with high fees as opposed to all those sad faceslap, twatter, etc.b*****s who share every piece of cr*p with the world and it's dog.

I don't have a single "social" account, /. is the closest thing I have to social networking! If they bring this in I'll change banks, assuming it gets past all the regulations and anti-competitive restrictions.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38059958)

I doubt the terms explicitly state that I cannot create a blank account with a fresh gmail address to get the deal.

What about if it was your insurance company? (1)

KeithH (15061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061668)

Imagine all the extra excuses insurance companies could fabricate once you let them milk even more of your personal information. Will governments ever have an incentive to protect our personal information? Until they do, I expect the commercialization of personal information will continue - to the detriment of the consumer. When are people going to realize that there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, online or otherwise?

They want my facebook data? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38061970)

No problem. Lemme create an account.

Is there some kind of activity required?

Nice to ask (1)

jago25_98 (566531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38062194)

It's nice that they asked.

What problem? (1)

CimmerianX (2478270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38064882)

Step 1: Setup Fake Facebook account
Step 2: Give bank Fake account info and get lower rate
Step 3: Never use Fake account again.

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