Social Networking: Your Key to Easy Credit


Social Networking: Your Key to Easy Credit?
By Erica Sandberg
January 13, 2010

You probably don’t analyze the chatter or quality of your social media connections, but creditors may be doing just that. In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere. Before calling the privacy police, though, understand how it’s really being used.

According to Nielsen Online, 67 percent of the global online population uses Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or a similar social media network to stay in touch with friends, grow their business or just have fun. If you’re among them and your settings are turned to “public,” who you’re talking to and what you’re discussing is available to those wanting to sell their wares — and that includes banks and other credit issuers.

Jules Polonetsky quoted: “It’s shocking to users. It goes beyond the kind of data use that people feel comfortable with.” More, he says, this application of behavioral marketing risks driving legislative action. “The general use of data is the subject of hot debate in Washington. The Federal Trade Commission is examining its view of behavioral data, trying to get to the appropriate rules. The entire future of behavioral marketing use is up in the air and this could upset the apple cart.”

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