Social Media, Identity Theft, and Credit Card Fraud
Documents leaked from the largest German credit reporting agency acknowledged that social media could be used to determine a person’s credit score.
The documents from the German company, Schufa, stated, data gathered from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and various other social media sites could be used for “identifying and assessing the prospects and threats,” as well as “determin[ing] the current opinions of a person.”
If you think this is an invasion of privacy, according to German law, you would be wrong. Schufa said the project fell within the scope of German privacy laws. However, they would not be pursuing the initiative after receiving harsh backlash.
Even though Schufa scrapped the venture, other companies, especially in the U.S., could be following suit. U.S. law surrounding privacy information is much more lenient than German law.
With only 37 percent of people altering their Facebook privacy settings, third-party apps can see just about everything on someone’s Facebook. Currently, companies can collect information from your social media profiles ranging from the articles you read to what you “like.” For creditors, this could potentially be used to see if you are a threat. Even if you do not “like” the page on Facebook, Facebook knows you have been there.
As of now, your social media information is just being used to sell you stuff. However, credit reporting company, Experian, announced it would debut a product called Extended View Score where information can be gathered for people without bank accounts and spotty credit history, through the use of formulas and alternative data sources like rent payment history and public records data to create a credit score.
Targeted advertising also encourages people to input more personal information in an unprotected format. With GPS sensitive devices, your home address could accidentally be displayed online through your smartphone. Your phone number can easily be gleaned from your Facebook profile. This makes social media an easy target for hackers. If someone steals your personal information, you could be the victim of identity theft, credit card fraud, Mortgage fraud, Telemarketing Fraud, Health Care Fraud, and Tax fraud.