Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]

No Surprise Here: Credit Reports Created With Your Online Information Are Mostly Inaccurate

No Surprise Here: Credit Reports Created With Your Online Information Are Mostly Inaccurate

More than 64 million Americans are cut off from access to traditional banking because they lack credit history. To better serve these unbanked consumers financial institutions are relying on the promises of big data brokers to accurately determine the creditworthiness of consumers. But is the new method a reliable way to provide affordable access to credit? Not really, a new report by the National Consumer Law Center points out. [More]

(santa barbarian)

Bad News: Your Medical Records Are Probably For Sale

Electronic medical records are kind of cool: they help your doctors beam your prescription records back and forth from pharmacies and are supposed to save everyone money and time. What you may not realize, though, is that digital records are easy to share, and what’s easy to share is easy to sell. Somewhere, your most private medical data is probably for sale. [More]