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Toto, I don't think we're in China anymore - US companies adopting social credit score system

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source:
Vice

 

Summary:
Credit scores may soon be based on additional data such as your social media profiles

 

Quotes/Excerpts:

Quote

Are you trustworthy? For centuries this was a qualitative question, but no longer. Now you have a number, a score, that everybody from loan officers to landlords will use to determine how much they should trust you. Credit scores are often presented as objective and neutral, but they have a long history of prejudice.  Most changes in how credit scores are calculated over the years have come out of a desire to make the scores more equitable, but credit companies have failed to remove bias, from their system. More recently, credit companies have started to use machine learning and offer "alternative credit". The idea is to use data that isn't normally included in a credit score to try and get a sense for how trustworthy someone might be. All data is potential credit data, these companies argue, which could include everything from your sexual orientation to your political beliefs, and even what high school you went to. But introducing this "non-traditional" information to credit scores runs the risk of making them even more biased than they already are, eroding nearly 150 years of effort to eliminate unfairness in the system. Financial technology ("fintech") startups are feeding non-traditional data into their algorithms, which take those inputs and generate a credit score. Companies such as ZestFinance, Lenddo, SAS, Equifax, and Kreditech are selling their AI-powered systems to banks and other companies, to use for their own creditworthiness decisions. LenddoEFL, for example, offers a Lenddo Score that "complements traditional underwriting tools, like credit scores, because it relies exclusively on non-traditional data derived from a customer's social data and online behavior." Lenddo even offers an option to allow creditors to install the Lenddo app onto their phones that can analyze what is typed into a search bar. If everything you do informs your credit score, then a person might start thinking that if they just search for "good" things on Google, check in at the "right" places on Facebook, and connect with the right people on social media, you can become lendable. "It suggests in some ways, that a person could control their behavior and make themselves more lendable," In reality, these systems are likely noticing and interpreting signals that customers might not realize: Your zip code alone, in many cases, can tell a bank how likely it is that you're white. If you went to a historically Black college or university, that data could be used against you. If you use eHarmony, you might get a different credit score than if you use Grindr.

 

My Thoughts:

"Alternative data" seems to be a slippery slope that will need to be regulated soon before it causes issues. The system can quickly become very China-esque in how it operates and what data it uses. Additionally, correlation not being causation needs to be considered.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, jstudrawa said:

 

Yep


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Woah, what a shock! Guess we have to rescind all of our existing freedoms which haven't been infringed upon now.


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Good luck, I don't have social media.


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In all seriousness it's starting.  Ford did it with their current generation GT.  Social media presence was a requirement for ownership, above and beyond being able to afford one.


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8 hours ago, sof006 said:

Good luck, I don't have social media.

That's the problem, it's not just social media.  Companies could sell your data to credit agencies to feed their algorithms and determine your "trustworthiness".  Things like religious beliefs, frequent google searches, weapon ownership, and a multitude of personal data could be used in their algorithm.  Even if you don't have social media, there is personal data out there about you that credit agencies would love to purchase and many of the services you use online would love to sell.

 

Further, even if it was just based on social media, not having one would be seen in a negative light, kinda like having no debt (no credit cards, loans, etc) are seen as suspect to credit agencies. 


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22 minutes ago, jstudrawa said:

In all seriousness it's starting.  Ford did it with their current generation GT.  Social media presence was a requirement for ownership, above and beyond being able to afford one.

Well, that was a customized, limited-run 1/2 million USD luxury item. That's absolutely nothing new in that realm. This is something different, though considering how strict the rules around credit scores are, I'd expect a lot of backlash.

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1 minute ago, Taf the Ghost said:

Well, that was a customized, limited-run 1/2 million USD luxury item. That's absolutely nothing new in that realm. This is something different, though considering how strict the rules around credit scores are, I'd expect a lot of backlash.

Not sure how familiar you are with the Ford GT's purchase process but it was new to car buying, even high end cars.  Ferrari doesn't require you to be active on social media, nor does Lamborghini.  They may have other rules of course.


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3 minutes ago, jstudrawa said:

Not sure how familiar you are with the Ford GT's purchase process but it was new to car buying, even high end cars.  Ferrari doesn't require you to be active on social media, nor does Lamborghini.  They may have other rules of course.

Ferrari (or other manufacturers) just expect you to own a lot of their cars already. Any of the Limited Ferraris or the Lambos just have different "standing" requirements. Those are more like really expensive social clubs, however. What Ford has been up to is more of an anti-flipper approach while also getting "free" marketing out of people. They've turned getting the new GT into a luxury item on its own. (Frankly, they've understood, properly, the concept of a Halo Product in the current era.)

 

Using non-celebrity Social Media as a check on your ability to get a credit card is a far different event. It also has legal consequences.

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4 minutes ago, Taf the Ghost said:

This is something different, though considering how strict the rules around credit scores are, I'd expect a lot of backlash.

One can only hope.  An example of something bad that could happen with this is say the algorithm overwhelmingly determines based on a variety of factors that aren't race related that a vast majority of any given race or ethnicity (just using this as an example) are not trustworthy, there would be hell to pay.  You could sit there and go through all the information that went into the algorithm and that they don't include racial or ethnic parameters until you are blue in the face, it's still going to look bad if the algorithm determines 80% of a race or ethnicity is untrustworthy.


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27 minutes ago, peanuts104 said:

That's the problem, it's not just social media.  Companies could sell your data to credit agencies to feed their algorithms and determine your "trustworthiness".  Things like religious beliefs, frequent google searches, weapon ownership, and a multitude of personal data could be used in their algorithm.  Even if you don't have social media, there is personal data out there about you that credit agencies would love to purchase and many of the services you use online would love to sell.

 

Further, even if it was just based on social media, not having one would be seen in a negative light, kinda of like having no debt (no credit cards, loans, etc) are seen as suspect to credit agencies. 

I would beg to differ. Social media is often detrimental to mental health and has had many other negative effects on people. Not using it is not that uncommon and normally it's done by responsible people who realize the negative effects of social media. Honestly I would bet that if you went by statistics people who don't have social media are more likely to be trust worthy than those who do. 

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So if I held right wing political views and made them present on my social media, the person deciding whatever "social credit" orientated decision happened to disagree with them, I'm screwed?

 

GG. One less reason to stay in the US 🤷‍♂️


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5 minutes ago, peanuts104 said:

One can only hope.  An example of something bad that could happen with this is say the algorithm overwhelmingly determines based on a variety of factors that aren't race related that a vast majority of any given race or ethnicity (just using this as an example) are not trustworthy, there would be hell to pay.  You could sit there and go through all the information that went into the algorithm and that they don't include racial or ethnic parameters until you are blue in the face, it's still going to look bad if the algorithm determines 80% of a race or ethnicity is untrustworthy.

I see you've encountered what actually happens when use machine learning on population data. This is one of the reasons why they're trying to find other ways around the classic Credit Score. The other is that people have figured out how to "game" the system. Population data tells you a lot about sub-groups, but not in the ways we've been told to think about them. There's no real standard analysis for "White" or "Asian", as those aren't even proper genetic categorizations. But actual sub-group distinctions do matter, which is what everyone is dancing around. Risk Premiums are different between German Protestants and Irish Catholics, and they always will be as long as those identities exist. 

 

So, they have to find proxies. Granted, with Credit Score, they have your name, and that tells them a lot already. 

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4 minutes ago, Brooksie359 said:

I would beg to differ. Social media is often detrimental to mental health and has had many other negative effects on people. Not using it is not that uncommon and normally it's done by responsible people who realize the negative effects of social media. Honestly I would bet that if you went by statistics people who don't have social media are more likely to be trust worthy than those who do. 

I think idealistic future sci-fi should be based around banning all social media. We're already starting to see the stop in growth and we're well into the stall/decline phase. Social Media is going to be looked back on about as well as Disco is now, in 30 years.

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7 minutes ago, HarryNyquist said:

You act like there's somewhere else to go.

As a fluent speaker of 3 languages, and student of 2 others, I have more than a couple options.


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44 minutes ago, HarryNyquist said:

You act like there's somewhere else to go.

You act like the US is the only place to be (laughable).


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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, peanuts104 said:

negative light, kinda of like having no debt (no credit cards, loans, etc) are seen as suspect to credit agencies. 

So if i can handle money properly and dont waste it im suspicious?! What an insane view that is.... (I actually have credit card but never used it.)

Edited by jagdtigger
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3 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

So if i can handle money properly and dont waste it im suspicious?! What an insane view that is.... (I actually have credit card but never used it.)

Check your credit score and see what they think of you. But generally it's not that they necessarily view you as suspect, but they have no credit history to base your score on.  Depending on the type of debt, it isn't bad or irresponsible and making on time payments on debt positively impacts your credit score.  A mortgage isn't bad as long as you can afford it.  Your credit goes bad when you get a mortgage you can't actually afford and then default on the loan.  That's the bad kind of debt.

 

A good way for young people to build some credit is to get a credit card and use it responsibly by carefully tracking your purchases and paying it off every month.  When I got my first credit card I only used it for certain things like gas or groceries, things that were essential that I would be paying for anyway.  I'm not talking about putting $1,000s a month on your card, but using it and paying it off each month will help to start to build good credit.


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15 minutes ago, peanuts104 said:

and paying it off every month

Fortunately that one is taken care by my bank automatically... (Both debts and the fee for having the card.)

 

/EDIT

I dont think there is a credit system by us, at least there is no public info about it....

 

/EDIT2

Seems i was wrong, they use the same system as the USA (FICO points).

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2 hours ago, jstudrawa said:

 

Basically that but the government will come after you if the score gets too low


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7 minutes ago, Sauron said:

Basically that but the government will come after you send you on a reeducation retreat if the score gets too low

FTFY you, citizen.  Pick up that can please.


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