Just a few days ago, hackers shut down Bank of America, and we couldn’t be more pleased. I mean, really — a $5 surcharge every time you use your debit card? That’s just ridiculous. But maybe the hackers should go several steps further and investigate who’s going to be at the top of the list of FBI-style offenders when it comes to monitoring your social media behavior. Credit Karma’s Ken Lin, writing for Mashable, has some cautionary words for us:
Many Americans may be unaware that their social media conversations and posts are providing banks and lenders with a treasure trove of information. In fact, a growing number of banks and lenders are currently building a data repository – collecting, storing and analyzing data – in the hopes that one day it could help them determine your potential credit risk and also tailor marketing directly to you.
This information gathering won’t become problematic for another five years, by which time we’ll all have not only forgotten this post, but forgotten this planet. But the info can be used for nefarious purposes beyond marketing. For instance:
For example, tweeting about walking away from your home may translate as an indicator that you may be delinquent on a future loan. Now banks are doing the math to determine whether these kinds of comments or tweets actually prove true down the road.
Bottom line, if banks and lenders can prove that using social media data as a business tool is successful in assessing behavioral patterns and preventing future losses, then why wouldn’t they?
Lin has plenty of info about what banks will be looking for and what you should be careful to avoid talking about. (Check it out here.)
One solution? Just keep all your money in a Talking Darth Vader Piggy Bank. And Force the banks to go without.