I ALWAYS knew, deep down, that sharing so much information online wasn’t a great idea.
That’s why I barely participate on Facebook and I long-ago deleted the time-sucking app off my phone.
But I’ve recently confirmed that my instincts about social media doing more harm than good are actually spot on.
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You see, a few months ago, MasterCard signed a two-year deal to gain access Facebook Asia Pacific user data, which allows them to analyse consumers’ online habits to uncover behavioural insights.
MasterCard will then sell these ‘insights’ to banks and lenders, who will use the information gleaned from your Facebook account to decide whether or not to lend you money.
And it gets worse.
Social media strategist and University of Sydney academic Laurel Papworth told ABC News that lenders in 36 countries are already using Facebook data to help them decide whether to approve or reject a loan.
According to the ABC’s report, banks may look at your friends’ Facebook profiles and ask questions like:
Have they paid their loans recently?
Are they taking expensive holidays?
What suburbs do they live in?
Banks might then decide that as a group, you look a little risky so they’re going to deny your loan application.
In other words, if our Facebook friends are not paying back their loans that is going to have an impact on us.
Am I the only one who find this slightly terrifying?!
I mentioned this to a group of friends over the weekend and none of them seemed bothered.
Despite the fact that they’re homeowners. That they have mortgages and credit cards. That their next application for credit could be rejected because their bank is making decisions based on the online rants of their Facebook ‘friends’ – which, let’s be honest, includes some friends, some family, and a bunch of old colleagues and former classmates you friended out of politeness, but who you’d cross the street to avoid the small talk in real life.
The world is heading in a scary direction and ‘big data’ is at the centre of it.
I don’t know about you, buy deactivating my Facebook account has never seemed more appealing.
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