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Should Social Media Affect Your Creditworthiness?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the circle-of-credit-worthy-friends dept.

Businesses 344

theodp writes "Betabeat's Adrianne Jeffries takes a look at the questionable young science of using social media to evaluate creditworthiness. As banks start nosing around Facebook and Twitter, Jeffries explains, the wrong friends might just sink your credit. 'Let's take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future,' she suggests. 'The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey's taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu's photo album, 'Saturday Nite!' And what was this tweet from a few years back: "FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge"?' So, could George piggyback his way to a better credit score by adding Larry and Sergey to his Google+ Circles?"

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344 comments

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News for nerds, stuff that matters (1, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38381994)

C'mon, slashdot.... Is this news ? Does this matter ? Slow news day ?

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382096)

Slashdot is so lam, the site sole purpose has become to trick people to visit rogue sites. And lets mention those stupid polls; how they gather information for the police. "How many drives do you have?", "where is your favourite hiding spot?", "Do you ever write your password down?", "Do you encrypt your drive?". Welcome to the new world order, you are guilty and you will be punished.

Poll Question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382198)

How long is your e-peen?

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382420)

Inorite?

I didn't think much of "What's your favorite color?" or even "What's your favorite brand of pop?".
But then, out of nowhere it was all "If you *did* have a dead body to hide... where would you put it?"

I probably should have lied on that one...

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382152)

What am I not understanding? This story seems relevant to me. If you don't agree, you are free to click on a different story.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382246)

What am I not understanding? This story seems relevant to me. If you don't agree, you are free to click on a different story.

Really? How is this relevant:

"He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn."

First, Banks don't investigate you, they just check with the Credit Agency.
Second, this would require a change to what is allowed to count against your credit score, credit rating companies cannot just arbitrarily pick random shit.
Next, this would require a wholesale change in the entire way our society handles private contracts. Giving the logins above would be a breech of TOS for all those sites just to start with.
Additionally, this would require a complete 180 turn in regards to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Currently if someone were to login using your credentials, they would technically be in violation of the Act as it would be considered Unauthorized Access to a Computer or Network Device, which just so happens to be a Federal Felony.
And Finally, the second any of those things were done there would be a court case challenging the practice on the grounds of Right to Free Association.

So in closing, no this is not relevant, and if you insist on having it then it should be in the Idle section not on the front page.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (1)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382398)

First, Banks don't investigate you, they just check with the Credit Agency. Second, this would require a change to what is allowed to count against your credit score, credit rating companies cannot just arbitrarily pick random shit. Next, this would require a wholesale change in the entire way our society handles private contracts. Giving the logins above would be a breech of TOS for all those sites just to start with. Additionally, this would require a complete 180 turn in regards to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Currently if someone were to login using your credentials, they would technically be in violation of the Act as it would be considered Unauthorized Access to a Computer or Network Device, which just so happens to be a Federal Felony. And Finally, the second any of those things were done there would be a court case challenging the practice on the grounds of Right to Free Association.

So in closing, no this is not relevant, and if you insist on having it then it should be in the Idle section not on the front page.

Everything what you say is true if the Credit Agencies play it fair. Unfortunately we all know that they do not give a shit about fairness.
Like it or not, everything about you on Internet (irrelevant if you put it or someone else) will be used against you.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382464)

Everything what you say is true if the Credit Agencies play it fair. Unfortunately we all know that they do not give a shit about fairness.

We do?

"Fair" is hard to quantify, but I'd like to see examples of credit agencies breaking the law in a way that treats individuals inequitably. Not saying it doesn't happen, just that I have no data.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (1)

Almandine (1594857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382478)

In addition to checking with a credit agency, the bank could ask for your financial records such as whether you have sufficient assets in your bank accounts. What if the bank just checks the publically available information in the social networking websites? There would be no need to log in. The solution of course would be to set the pages to private.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382292)

what you're missing is that this is a laughable nice idea that is being presented as an actual trend and garnished with mild paranoia that this is how all banking will be decided in the future. hint...it's not really news and it doesn't really matter.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382520)

And you're free to ignore obvious trolls.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382168)

“There is this concept of ‘birds of a feather flock together,’” said Ken Lin, CEO of the San Francisco-based credit scoring startup Credit Karma. “If you are a profitable customer for a bank, it suggests that a lot of your friends are going to be the same credit profile. So they’ll look through the social network and see if they can identify your friends online and then maybe they send more marketing to them. That definitely exists today.”

This is about a new wave of companies trying to make inroads into the banking business. This BS story is just them peddling their wares and trying to raise some eyebrows and maybe get a bank or two to give them a serious look. You've got these companies already doing marketing for banks by digging into our social networks, and now they think they can make more money and become that much more important (legitimate?) by actually helping the banks make their credit decisions. 100% wishful thinking at this point. Let's hope it stays that way.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382202)

Well, try again. You could easily put this story into perspective by thinking "20 minutes into the future": Max Headroom [wikipedia.org] . A film (and later, series) that should appeal to anyone who qualifies as a nerd. Of course, if you don't care to be associated with such riffraff as nerds or geeks, then you are free to leave.

Re:News for nerds, stuff that matters (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382242)

Now PotterBank.com will see this post and charge an extra 300%

No, obviously (5, Insightful)

pjc50 (161200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38381996)

And in the EU there are data protection and privacy laws that could be used to deter this kind of thing.

Re:No, obviously (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382010)

How about these banks kiss my private shiny ass!

Re:No, obviously (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382036)

You think letting them kiss your ass will make them give you a loan?

Re:No, obviously (1)

pburghdoom (1892490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382176)

Couldn't hurt

Re:No, obviously (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382462)

Depends how hard they bite...

Re:No, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382128)

They can bite my glorious golden ass.

Re:No, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382120)

And in the EU there are data protection and privacy laws that could be used to deter this kind of thing.

Wow that must be nice. To be a citizen who receives no welfare and no "entitlements" who can honestly say "my [federal] government did something useful and constructive for me!" As a working American for whom the US Government is mostly a parasite I have to wonder ... what's that feel like?

Re:No, obviously (4, Interesting)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382162)

It's the satisfied feeling of being able and educated enough to elect the right person in the right office, and hold the elected people responsible for what the government does. If you don't expect anything from the government, then you can't expect anything from your goverment.

Remember people: In a democracy, you get the government you deserve.

Re:No, obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382330)

Right, and when no one but dirt bags run for office?

Actually, scratch that, my city's current mayor is a pretty decent guy. Every other power in the city complete ignores him and counteracts him however. Nice guy, very smart but not much in the way of balls. City Council is constantly ignoring him, getting people against him, making him seem like a monster for wanting to make some fairly reasonable spending cuts (I have nothing against libraries but if you can easily walk from one to another, it probably wouldn't hurt to consolidate them a bit).

You talk about it like it's so easy, I'd pay big money to see you try to hold some of the moron politicians I know "responsible" for their actions. I don't want to get blacklisted so I'm staying on the sidelines. Unless you're willing to cap someone, there really isn't much you can do and murder is sorta illegal/immoral.

Actually, even better, they DID lock up one very powerful and corrupt politician for corruption a few years back. Know what we got for it? We lost millions in federal funding because, while he was scum, he could had the power in DC to actually take care of us. We lost way more money putting him in jail than we ever did with his embezzling. Way to put away one crook who actually did his freaking job too... So yeah, the situation is also kind of complicated.

Every time someone tweets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382000)

and angel gets his wings!

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382002)

+1 AC Likes This

Answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382012)

No.

Next question please.

Not everyone is so lucky (3, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382018)

At least George has Clarence as an angel investor.

That bank would be bankrupt fastly (5, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382024)

Everybody that uses social networks have connections to somebody that gone broke, or made bad comments on the past. That fictional bank wouldn't be able to lend money. Thus wouldn't generate any revenue.

Searching social networks will probably happen on the real world, but you can bet the information the banks will gather will be way saner than that, and they won't jump to conclusion that fast.

Now, about the real problem. Why is everybody so concerned about their credit worthness?

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382068)

We're concerned about our credit worthiness because the banks, other lenders, employers, etc are.

I, for one, liked having a 3.85% APR on my credit card before the economy went down the crapper.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382186)

I, for one, liked having a 3.85% APR on my credit card before the economy went down the crapper.

This shouldn't matter. If you're using your credit card as a source of credit (instead of as a debit card), you're doing it wrong.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (5, Insightful)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382240)

If you're using your credit card as a source of credit (instead of as a debit card), you're doing it wrong.

Credit cards are no so much a "source" of credit, as they are an access method to a line of credit. Personally, I don't use a debit card, ever, except to occasionally make the ATM machine function. Using a debit card for transactions in a brick-and-mortar store, or on the internet, exposes your funds on deposit to significant risk should it get skimmed, or a website where you used it gets compromised. Good luck getting your cash back after that happens.

With a credit card, you can simply dispute the charges, and the risk is entirely on the merchant and/or the bank. Stores would prefer people to use debit cards, because the fees on their end are lower, due to the transfer of risk to the debit card holder.

( Applies to US ... other countries, maybe, maybe not )

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382328)

Or, if you live in a sane country with sane banks, with a debit card you can dispute the charges, the bank will give you the money back and then the police will investigate the fraud. You lose no money except in the short term (when it happened to me it was less than a day before I got the money back) especially since my bank also called ME to say that parts of my statement were unusual, long before I would have gotten the statement.
Sure, there's still the risk that in that period of time your account would be cleared out and you'd have no access to money at all for a day, but if you can't go a day without going to the bank, or don't have anyone you can bum a tenner off of, then, oh, wait, this is /. - no-one has any friends here.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382356)

I think the grandparent's point was that you should pay off your credit card every month and just use it as you would use a debit card (but with better buyer protection), rather than borrow money on it. I have no idea what the interest rate on my credit card is - about 15% I think - because it is paid automatically from my bank account by direct debit (unless I dispute some charges) every month so I never pay any interest. If I need to borrow money, I will do so via some other mechanism. Actually, I bought my house with an offset mortgage, so I have a fairly low interest line of credit up to the amount I have already 'repaid' (i.e. put in a savings account linked to the mortgage).

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382412)

I think the grandparent's point was that you should pay off your credit card every month and just use it as you would use a debit card (but with better buyer protection), rather than borrow money on it.

Certainly, but any given specific transaction and customer, may be using the 15% interest rate, to acquire say, tools for a construction job, and be making 30% on the use of the money. In other words, there are business cases for actually paying the high interest rate. Not that the average consumer buying crap they don't need is behaving that way, just that, whether or not one pays the bill at the end of the month or not, depends on ones specific circumstance.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382248)

I think you just accidentally finance. Next time you tell somebody they're wrong try not doing so anonymously.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382378)

I typicially do... however, there are the odd times when I have greater expenses than I have available cash for the month. In August, I bought a new car. By tapping my credit card, I was able to put down a much larger down payment, which resulted in a considerably more favorable car loan. I saved a lot more on the lower interest car loan than I lost over the three months it took to pay off that down payment on my credit card. If the card still had 3.85% APR, I would have bought the entire car on it.

I also had some unexpected medical expenses this year that my insurance did not fully cover... those went on my credit card and were paid off over the following six months which was a good deal easier and cheaper than taking the payment plan offered by the medical provider.

A credit card is just another tool. Improper use can screw you over, but using it intelligently can really boost you ahead.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382278)

I paid off my credit. I'll need to get more to buy a house, but that's it. I'm never touching credit cards, unsecured loans etc again. Paying them off was a PITA I don't want to go through again.

Technically, I am more well off than most of the western world, simply by having no money and no debts. It is the very definition of "wealthy" nowadays.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (5, Interesting)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382080)

Now, about the real problem. Why is everybody so concerned about their credit worthness?
You must be from Europe. Over the past 20 years in the USA (and I think Canada) a person's credit worthiness is everything. Both positive as well as negative information is reported and not having a decent credit score can negatively impact your quality of life. It is not at all uncommon for potential employers to investigate prospective employees' credit scores. As an American I find these increasingly intrusive trends in the US quite disturbing as it all seems to somehow fall under employers' rights to "free speech" as everything seems to be a "public record" these days. What the US needs are EU style data protection laws.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (5, Insightful)

BMoore60610 (1749398) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382204)

Now, about the real problem. Why is everybody so concerned about their credit worthness? You must be from Europe. Over the past 20 years in the USA (and I think Canada) a person's credit worthiness is everything. Both positive as well as negative information is reported and not having a decent credit score can negatively impact your quality of life. (...) What the US needs are EU style data protection laws.

You don't have to be from Europe to see the lies behind the current system of credit in America. The whole thing is designed so that people must have debt in order to beg the banks for more debt. It's absolutely crazy. If we teach our children to save for the things they need (and do so ourselves) we could end this horrible economy for good. Sadly people are too intoxicated by instant gratification (i.e. selfishness) for that to ever happen on a grand scale. What the US needs is a bat-symbol-in-the-sky sized CLUE.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382364)

The whole thing is designed so that people must have debt in order to beg the banks for more debt. It's absolutely crazy

I have noticed this myself. Now that I have almost completely paid off my credit cards and am actually starting to save money saved my credit score has actually gotten worse. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

Almandine (1594857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382392)

A person's credit report in the US also determines whether they can obtain a loan/mortgage and sometimes whether they can even rent. Hence, someone with a poor credit report may find it difficult even to find a place to live.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382102)

I suppose we could break it down into two questions:

1. Is using social-network data to evaluate creditworthiness actually accurate?

2. If it is accurate, do we think doing so is a good or bad thing?

Your point is about #1, but I think probably there is a way, given good enough statistical analysis, to extract a good predictive signal, so the real long-term question is not whether it works, but whether we should let it be used.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

Marc Madness (2205586) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382106)

Everybody that uses social networks

I think this phrase effectively summarizes the problem with this approach: are banks going to refuse to offer service to someone who doesn't have a Facebook account? If not, then cancel your account before applying to a loan or lie; thus rendering the practice useless. However, if the banks do refuse service to people without social media accounts (completely, not selected services as mentioned in TFA), we'll have effectively created a world where if you don't exist in Google, you don't exist.

and they won't jump to conclusion that fast.

From TFA:

in 2009 a woman in Quebec stopped receiving disability payments for major depression after Manulife decided, based on beach vacation photos on Facebook, that she seemed happy enough to work after all.

There's no mention of any further investigation, but this sounds like jumping to conclusions to me.

You don't understand the Major in Major depression (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382312)

From TFA:

in 2009 a woman in Quebec stopped receiving disability payments for major depression after Manulife decided, based on beach vacation photos on Facebook, that she seemed happy enough to work after all.

There's no mention of any further investigation, but this sounds like jumping to conclusions to me.

Well, it depends on what she told the insurance company. Major depression is a massive brain malfunction, the kind where many sufferers can't even get up out of bed for hours or days at a time, and not because they feel so miserable that they don't want to; they actually can't get up. Even major depressives can have good days, but if she told them she had catatonic major depression and never left the house (which would be plausible), and they saw recent photos of a smiling beach vacation, that would be a very serious contradiction to her story and the pathology of her illness.

So denying that claim based on photos is harsh, but possibly tenable.

Identity? (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382320)

Worse, what verification could possibly be carried out that the Facebook/Twatter/whatever account is actually associated with the person in question? My name isn't anywhere nearly as common as "John Smith", but if I do a casual search for Facebook accounts with my name, I get 8 (approximate) hits. Who's to say that someone else can't poison my reputation, despite the fact that I do not have a Facebook account?

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382294)

Problem is, people believe that by looking at a few pictures and reading some comments will give them some insight into that person's mind, better than a certified psychologist with decades of experience. That's the real problem.

Then there's the other issue, the bank isn't trying to become your friend, but loan you money. I've know people, that were shitty friends but with a good head for money and even more of the opposite.

Add to that, data retention, some articles will be 10-20 years old, not a lot in the life of a person, but for many, it could be the years when they mature, from adolescence when their earliest posts would appear and the last when they have a steady job and family. Fact is, people mature, they change over the years, they keep changing even in their 90's.

One last thing. Everyone has a hidden side, something they'd never tell their friends or even show on the internet, I don't mean porn or something immoral or illegal, but reading books that won't fit to their image, eccentric hobbies etc. So, social networks will never have the complete image of a person.

I read psychology articles now and then, because I find them very interesting, but I would never claim to understand even a fraction of the human mind or predict the behaviour of a person. But I know this, the human mind is hideously complex, psychology defines and redefines standards every decade or so, and as everyone here knows, software will know only what it's programmed to do.

Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (1)

theEd (61232) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382490)

Everybody that uses social networks have connections to somebody that gone broke, or made bad comments on the past. That fictional bank wouldn't be able to lend money. Thus wouldn't generate any revenue.

More likely, it will slightly lower your credit rating and you would have to pay a higher interest rate for loans (home/car). Thus, the banks would generate more revenue.

Well of course... (0)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382026)

Any and everything about your life except for your history of paying your bills......... Just like the banks...

I Wonder (2)

BeTeK (2035870) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382028)

I Wonder what if you don't actually have any of those accounts. For me I don't have twitter or linkedin accout at all.

Re:I Wonder (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382146)

I was wondering the same thing. I don't have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, or Google+. I can't think of any others off hand but I'm sure I don't have them either.

Re:I Wonder (3, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382190)

Facebook has "shadow accounts" of people it's datamined, but have not actually opened a facebook account with. So even if you don't have an account, your friends & family talking about you, or any data it harvests that contain references to you, are stored there.

I would suspect that Facebook's sharing of information with legal authorities includes shadow accounts, and if banks or credit reporting agencies strike a deal with Facebook to get at "indicator" information about people, they'd be able to view shadow accounts as well.

Re:I Wonder (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382280)

I would suspect that Facebook's sharing of information with legal authorities includes shadow accounts, and if banks or credit reporting agencies strike a deal with Facebook to get at "indicator" information about people, they'd be able to view shadow accounts as well.

Good point. In Soviet Russia, facebook account has you.

Re:I Wonder (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382454)

I know 3 people named Steve Wright. How does Facebook know which one I'm referring to at any particular time.

And how many John Smith's are there?

Now for sure, if I send a facebook invite to one of them, then Facebook have an email address. But that's about it for data they can collect about people with no account.

Oh, and facial recognition in photos won't do it. iPhoto has facial recognition, but I'd estimate it's suggestions are only about 60% right, even after all the training it's had from my confirmations. An unassisted facial recogniser will be next to useless.

Re:I Wonder (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382220)

I'm frequently entertained by the fact that Googling "Facebook " gives three links to Facebook, none of them me.

I'd probably be less entertained if my namesakes were not really cool, interesting people with great careers.

Re:I Wonder (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382226)

Gyah.

Facebook <my real name>

Sure, why not (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382030)

I mean, after all, you're borrowing their money. You don't have a right to it.

Re:Sure, why not (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382194)

You are not borrowing it yet, if you just ask them. So they don't have any right to any data about you yet either.

Re:Sure, why not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382216)

Do they have a right to be bailed out?

Lolwut? (5, Insightful)

ToiletBomber (2269914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382032)

"halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn." If any site of a supposed financial institution were to start asking for my logins for any site other than it's own, frankly I would run from that site like the plague.

Re:Lolwut? (1)

captainskyhawk (1652491) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382154)

This takes place in the future. 30 years from now this might not be uncommon. 30 years ago, people wouldn't even have put in financial information on a computer, for instance.

Re:Lolwut? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382486)

2016 isn't 30 years from now. 30 years ago, people did put financial information on a computer, if the computer was capable of storing it securely. 30 years from now a bank can bite me if they think they can require my authentication information for external websites; the world uses facebook and google as identity services now, there's no way I'm giving someone other than me that little tiny string of characters that allows them to prove they're me. Pretty sure such a requirement is already illegal in most western countries, and would be legal in any remaining countries *long* before 30 years from now.

Re:Lolwut? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382500)

This. Don't expect privacy when you willingly give up your passwords.

Facebook and Twitter presence required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382044)

So I'll be turned down for a loan if I claim I don't have any of those?

Same absurdity as requiring these for crossing a national border or interviewing for a job.

Re:Facebook and Twitter presence required? (2)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382112)

Maybe not, but they could offer incentives like a lower rate if you provide a good social profile.

Re:Facebook and Twitter presence required? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382196)

Just like car insurance, you can get a lower rate if you put their little black box in your car to let them record your driving style and locations. Living privately in the future is gonna be bloody expensive, I gotta get a better paying job and save up...

I don't care.. (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382094)

...as long as not using social media does not affect my credit worthiness.

Might work... (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382098)

Couldn't be much worse than S&P and Moody's evaluation of subprime (aka supershit let the 99% die) AAA rated debt.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-31/subprime-mortgage-bonds-getting-aaa-rating-s-p-denies-to-u-s-treasuries.html [bloomberg.com]

Re:Might work... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382408)

Well, the clue there is in the name. "Subprime" is just a euphemism for "dodgy". I am not an economist (I'd rather be dead), but it stands to reason that if a nation's economy is based on a notion of regarding a poorly-judged loan as an asset, then that economy deserves to fail. Simple as that.

This is already a reality! (4, Informative)

ard (115977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382108)

The company iZettle, which provides "personal payment" via credit cards (chip reader that plugs into phone+app),
requires not only traditional autentication and a bank account - but also your facebook profile with an established social network. I.e. you must have friends as a voucher for your identity.

No facebook, no service. True, they dont base credit reports on your profile, but I find it a disturbing development where traditional identification and bank account are not enough (especially here in Sweden where we already are tracked since birth with the personnummer supercookie).

Re:This is already a reality! (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382174)

One would think their (idiotic) policy will change the first time they get conned by a group of hackers who all vouch for each other.

They're all indicators (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382110)

This isn't going to be particularly pleasant to hear, but ultimately these sorts of activities are all about finding indicators of your likeliness to default on your credit, in much the same way that indicators are used when providing insurance to evaluate someone's likelihood of needing to make a claim and price them accordingly. So having these extra indicators isn't by itself necessarily bad. It's not in the lender's interests to come up with bad indicators. To stay competitive, they have to strike a good balance between covering their ass and giving you a better rate than the next lender. So ultimately they're trying to find out something about your creditworthiness (as a probabilistic measure of default) that is more likely to be right than wrong.

The real philosophical issue is, if non-financial indicators are used to evaluate our creditworthiness, then are we being unfairly induced to make changes to our lifestyle to accomodate our need for credit?

Re:They're all indicators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382200)

It's not in the lender's interests to come up with bad indicators.

Did you just crawl out of a fallout shelter after missing the last 10 years or something? Lenders came up with TERRIBLE indicators - using credit score alone without income, job *or* asset verification (NINJA loans). They made mad stacks of money, until the whole thing tipped over and we had to bail them out...

Re:They're all indicators (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382254)

If federal bailouts are distorting the markets, that's a problem with federal bailouts. When making a bad loan really does cost you the amount of the loan, people get pretty smart about figuring out who to lend to.

Re:They're all indicators (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382306)

If federal bailouts are distorting the markets, that's a problem with federal bailouts. When making a bad loan really does cost you the amount of the loan, people get pretty smart about figuring out who to lend to.

But if legal bribery is distorting federal accountability . . .

Re:They're all indicators (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382358)

They may be insulated from the consequences of ignoring good data, but there sure as heck isn't any benefit to gathering bad data, which is the point I'm trying to make.

G+ Circles (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382116)

Depend on what you put in a public way. From the start in G+ you had circles to choose with who share some things, so giving your id to a bank, unless you put it in your Friends circle, won't disclose anything that you didnt made public. I think that Facebook and Twitter enable to restrict the audience of some posts, but could remain plenty of old public things (and, of course, there is the problem of resharing somewhat private things)

The problem with Larry and Sergei is not G+, is plain google (or any other search engine). If you posted with your name or known email something public (or made public) long ago, it could be found and (mis)used against you in the future.

Dust coat with nine minutes of pants and replica H (-1)

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This is solved very simply... (1)

captainskyhawk (1652491) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382144)

...by having multiple accounts for these sorts of things

Re:This is solved very simply... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382372)

Ah, but Facebook is requiring authentication via a phone number for its accounts of late.

Multiple accounts require multiple phone numbers.

Could you be more obvious? (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382150)

I see you, samzenpus [wikimedia.org]

Not a hypothetical question... (3, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382172)

They've dressed the issue up as something hypothetical, when in fact it already happens. It's just not banks that are doing it

Insurance companies are infamously snoopy and manipulative. They'll look at anything and everything they can possibly get their hands on, legal or not, to analyze your risks. I'd bet serious money that insurers already pry in social networks.

And they've managed acts of regulatory capture that would make even banks and defense contractors blush. Here in North Carolina you're not even allowed to have a driver's license unless you have car insurance. If you don't actually have a car that's tough shit; you can't even drive rentals or borrowed cars.

Re:Not a hypothetical question... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382310)

Insurance companies are infamously snoopy and manipulative. They'll look at anything and everything they can possibly get their hands on, legal or not, to analyze your risks. I'd bet serious money that insurers already pry in social networks.

For close to a decade it's been well-known in motorsports circles that car insurers will snoop around on motorsport forums to see if any vehicle they insure is driven in any kind of competition. There are a few well-documented cases of people having their insurance cut off this way. There have also been rumors of them sending agents to events.

Keep in mind that pretty much all insurers already exclude anything that happens in competition, and that you would have already paid into competition insurance, so everything is 100% legit and technically the street insurer has nothing to worry about. The best guess is that they think competitive drivers are a risk (when in fact they are some of the best drivers).

Some also send agents to scout around at street racer hangouts, but at least that's understandable. Sad for those who park near the wrong crowd though.

But more on-topic, remember the case of the woman who had her health insurance dropped for posting a pic of herself smiling to Facebook while she was being treated for depression.

Re:Not a hypothetical question... (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382458)

I'd argue they aren't searching for actual risks, but excuses to charge you more. Insurance rates, especially auto insurance here in Ontario Canada are way over priced and the insurance companies look for any and all excuses to both charge you more and not pay out when you make a claim.

I'd PAY to have that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382178)

If anyone every writes an algorithm that sophisticated I want part of it. Till then it's just a decent premise for a side-story in a science fiction novel.

Oh, I'll take that, too.

As long as it's averaged with Slashdot karma (5, Funny)

ewg (158266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382208)

Please mod me up, I want to refinance!

Re:As long as it's averaged with Slashdot karma (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382376)

Well, we can't give you a loan on your Slashdot karma, but if we just put down - this'll be our little secret, just you and me - that you've got 2 million reddit karma - it's okay, reddit karma doesn't mean anything, it's just an arbitrary thing we have to work around, you could get that karma for real easily enough - there, you're good to go for your eight trillion dollar home improvement loan to build a moonbase.

This highlights something that should be obvious: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382210)

Credit ratings as currently implemented are wild guesses and are basically weapons against you that you are to supply the munitions for. If you have had credit (and paid interest on it) you have a better credit rating than by financing things from your savings, not spending on interest, for one. And it goes on. Take an objective look and notice just how much you are the product. The problem is of the same "approached from a wrong angle" systemic nature as why credit rating agencies are currently in hot water for mis-assessing banks and cdos and whatnots, even entire countries, contributing to lots of banking troubles, except you the assessed have far, far less market power to do anything about it.

So, no, more data sources is not necessarily going to improve the ratings, rather unlikely even. Killing off the rating agencies and starting over has a better chance of alleviating the misery.

NO (2)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382234)

Frankly, I think Social media sites should not be used to judge someone for credit worthiness, or for jobs or for marking someone's abilities to perform work. People have lives that are not always accurately reflected from social media sites.

People do things in there personal time that is there personal time. This should not be used against you.

Conversely, people who don't post on social media sites should not be scrutinized either for their lack of personal info on the Web.

Credit worthiness is based on one's abilities to pay their debts incurred. Credit rating companies already provide this info.

While I think the way Credit agencies horde data on an individual is appalling, it does have the ability to show patterns in people and their spending.

Re:NO (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382318)

You let your insurance company use your credit rating to assume how safe of a driver you are.

You have a Credit score of 650? You must be a maniac that sideswipes people for fun, You must be charged an extra 60% on your insurance.

Everyone knows that is raging BS, yet none of you are outraged by it or will get off your butts to complain about it.

Re:NO (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382422)

The facade I create at work takes just as much effort as doing the actual work.

If only they knew...

Search for AC (3, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382264)

Dear bank, sorry, I can't give you the login directly, privacy you know. But (wink, wink) you can find them - just Google for my nickname "Anonymous"...

Just stop it! (0)

kamukwam (652361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382274)

Just stop with all this credit card madness. Save money before you spend it. Don't let the bank own you and your stuff. I thought in the USA everything is about freedom, yet why is everyone a slave of the credit card companies???

Re:Just stop it! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382296)

Sounds like a plan, so we live in a cardboard box until we can save the $60,000 to buy a crack house in the hood?

Renting is the same as credit. so I cant rent.

Re:Just stop it! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382370)

Renting is actually worse than credit. When you make a purchase on credit you just pay interest on an advance of a sum of money that's quite large compared to the interest. When you rent, you pay a lot of money every month and when you're done renting, the property owner STILL HAS THE HOUSE in better condition than it would be if it were left vacant, in addition to a huge sum of money that you paid over the years! That's how the rich get richer!

Re:Just stop it! (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382466)

In general, you are right but it is not so simple. You have to factor in a lot of things like maintenance, property taxes, liability into the picture before you decide whether it is better to rent or buy. One big things people forget about is the transaction cost of buying and selling. This can be a significant portion of your cash outlays. Say you put a down payment of $20,000 on a $200,000 house. Brokerage and closing costs can be around $15,000 or higher. If you don't intend to live in a house more than a few years youmay just be better off renting.

Not a problem... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382282)

You give it your professional ones not your personal ones.

Honestly what idiot is posting everything professional and private to the same profile?

I see positives here, not negatives (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382288)

If you have a credit history, the bank is going to use that to determine whether to give you a loan or not. Paid off all your debts? Make more money than you spend? Never had a late payment? Banks will be falling over themselves to lend you money. Defaulted on everything? Bankruptcy? You're going to have some high interest rates.

What I see here is a tool banks and credit unions could potentially use to inform them about people without a credit score. Maybe I haven't had a credit card or mortgage before, but the fact is that I have a good work ethic and deep sense of integrity about paying of my debts... up till now, a lending institution has very little way of differentiating me from the kid who doesn't understand credit and thinks it's free money.

Now, if the institution can check my interests, and simple, potentially-significant measures like my quantity of friends or how many people like my updates, they may be able to determine whether I'm a safer risk. If they do, it's better for me.

I know it's kind of a devil's bargain -- give them the ability to look at private info for a reasonable, helpful purpose and next thing they'll be making bad decisions based on it... I would never consider letting a faceless megacorp like BofA or Wells Fargo look at it. But my bank has 2 branches, and everybody there knows my name... some of them could legitimately be my real facebook friends. I don't have a problem sharing my social networking info with them. It has the potential to be a win-win with better rates for me and lower risk for my bank.

Makes no sense. (4, Insightful)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382314)

The second this takes off, there's going to be a business in optimizing people's social profiles - if nothing else, the things you should have/not have on your profile will spread through word of mouth and experience. The reason facebook et al is used for evaluating people is the idea that people might not "keep up appearances" there, right? But if it impacts your personal finances or job prospects most people would just tighten up out of fear. It's self-defeating. It's also dreadful since it'd presumably lead to people making themselves out to be oily cookie-cutter smilies for financial benefit, conformity of the worst kind.

NO (4, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38382438)

Absolutely not. I'll tell you why: There is currently no way to verify who you say you are on social networks, hell, some of them you can sign up with a fake, made-up name... all you need is a valid email address which can be anything. Oh, and that email address can be webmail, which also does not attempt to verify your identity. This makes it incredibly easy to set up fake accounts or profiles in someone else's name.

Absolutely NONE of these services have a way to accurately verify your identity. They don't even try for the most part. This alone means that searching for Bob Smith's facebook page does not guarantee that I find the real Bob Smith's facebook page. Or that anything posted or linked to Bob's profile has any accuracy whatsoever.

Stuff can become attached or linked to your social media profile, even without your knowledge. Character assassination anyone? Someone you know (or even don't know) can take a picture, post it online and tag it with your name, and there is absolutely no way to verify who is in the picture. I can take a picture of my cat taking a dump and post it, tag it with a friends name, and this will then get linked to their profile.

Do you see the problem with this? If a prospective employer or a credit service wants to search for my name on social media sites fine, but I expect they will be smart about actually using unverifiable information to determine my credit or job worthiness. The mere act that they would use unverifiable data to back up a decision on something important like a job position or a credit score, tells a lot about the company. Luckily I live in the EU where this sort of thing is not widespread and we actually have strong personal data protection laws.

Are you noisy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38382506)

Another question you should ask yourself is, why would anyone trust a lender so concerned with noise? Just a thought. Oh and it's against the terms of service almost everywhere with give you your login information, a real bank is not going to ask you for to break a contract with other players if they want to play nice with say Facebook for example.

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