Tell all online, imperil your credit

December 19, 2011

Laying bare your innermost thoughts on Facebook can be risky.

For example, a change in status on Facebook by Supervisor Adam Hill midway through his recent divorce created for him additional marital complications, political problems, and some embarrassing press coverage. Now, it turns out that Facebook may be harmful to your credit rating. [PCWorld]

Banks and other financial institutions are harvesting data from individuals’ profiles attached to Facebook, Twitter and other social media, targeting prospective new customers and creating an innovative way of gathering credit information not normally available — such as race, marital status and history of public assistance.

Even one’s friends listed on the sites — both real and “friended” — can prove troublesome, as lenders gain access to more and more information about your circle of acquaintances.

There’s a bright side, however: most experts agree that the technology for widespread exploitation of social media data is still a year or two away.


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15 Comments

  1. danika says:

    I am not a user of FB or Twitter, nor will I ever be. I do understand people find enjoyment in those social sites and that is fine. Just understand they provide an illusion of privacy and enjoy. I will sit back and remain off the social grid as much as possible.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. rogerfreberg says:

    Personal privacy is but an illusion and its best relegated to concepts like the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause… a nice idea, but doesn’t really exist in reality.

    Should women be able to jog at 2am in nothing but a sports bra?… sure… but is it safe? Well, that’s a completely different question. Should you be able to post a picture of yourself as a jailbird with a get-out-of-jail card chewing on a bong on your facebook page? Sure, but as one student learned, it didn’t help this guy get a DUI charge reduced or dropped… he got it all!

    The lesson here is a simple one: the only person who can protect you is you… whether it is on the internet… or in your own home.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • WiseGuy says:

      Roger, are you not concerned that someone will Google your name and find that an article about Facebook and banking inspired you to, out of the blue, first thing in the morning, publicly speculate about women in lingerie running around in the middle of the night?

      (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  3. Typoqueen says:

    Not sure why you had to add Adam Hill to this.

    People need to just be aware of what they post on FB and who they choose to be friends with. I’ve never understood why some people have 200 + friends. Unless you have a business or someone that uses it for networking then who has that many friends, it’s just makes some people feel warm and fuzzy to think that they have 500 friends.

    I love FB, I feel it’s an amazing new way to keep in touch with family and friends. I’ve had people track me down from high school, I”m not paranoid, I feel that’s very cool. I have no problem with any of those above mentioned issues. One needs to be careful about what they put in there. If you don’t want your posts on the front page of the paper then don’t put it on FB. I don’t have personal info on my profile page and I keep an eye on my privacy and account settings. But I really enjoy seeing what family members and long distance friends are up to. I also like playing a few of the games. I think it’s so cool that I can play scrabble and have a conversation with a family member in Euro. I do see people put things on there that they shouldn’t but hopefully they will learn.

    (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      TQ, this is one of those issues on which we disagree.

      IMO, FB’s approach to members privacy is, at the very least, insulting and, at the very worst, criminal.

      I have an account, but I spend less than 4 hours every 6 months on FB. The friends to whom I want to remain connected I have already achieved that status on my own.

      The fact that FB claims the right to change privacy settings and wander around to telling its clients a few weeks later (meanwhile, personal information has been spread across the information) is heinous.

      Any website that one feels they have to constantly monitor to ensure the website hasn’t changed security settings is a website that is not worth belonging to. IMO.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        I don’t like the privacy issues but in my case I’m not worried about. This isn’t an issue that everyone needs to agree on. Those that are concerned that their privacy will be breached shouldn’t go on it. But if you are worried then in all due respect, why do you have an account? If you don’t update your settings then just having an account might open you up to solicitors. I’m aware of the security issues but I still love it, shortcomings and all.

        I will tell you the one area that really does concern me on FB and I feel that they need to change this. That’s with the kids. Teens go on there and say horrible things. They have pages telling other kids how to mix pills and booze to get a better high, pages dedicated to pictures of intoxicated kids passed out etc.. Pages like that encourage kids to do these things. If they are going monitor what we do on there then this is something that they need to clean up. Kids have their own FB pages that the parents see, they also have pages using different names that the parents don’t know about, this is very common.

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • WiseGuy says:

      I have to agree that bringing up Adam Hill in this context is a cheap shot and reeks of journalistic amateurism and/or meanness, especially when noting that the “embarrassing press coverage” mentioned was generated by CalCoastNews. And when the article speaks of “embarrassing”, what is that based upon? Did Mr. Hill say he was “embarrassed” ? Would it be fair for me to say that CalCoastNews reporters and editors are “embarrassed” because of questionable journalism found on this site? Just because we think someone should be ’embarrassed” does not mean that person actually is embarrassed. There is a big difference there. But it is obvious that CalCoast shows little or now shame in going out of its way to try to embarrass people in order to flesh out or add “spice” to articles that are lacking in one way or another.

      Here’s a fact: As much as I am grateful for and supportive of CalCoastNews, I am often embarrassed FOR CalCoastNews when I see it stoop low.

      (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
      • NorCoMod says:

        I’m not sure why you feel that reference to Hill’s facebook posting”reeks of journalistic amateurism” ?

        Maybe you’re disappointed that Hill has allowed his anger to overpower his self control…….once again. Personally I think Hill enjoys toying with the public.

        CalCoast News exploits the human condition and it must work because we keep reading it.

        (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          This article is about security and privacy issues with Facebook. After the very first sentence it proceeds to rip into Hill. During an election period this seems like a low blow and a calculated article to deliberately shoot him down. CCN and the New Times do investigative work and for that I appreciate them but in this case I believe that they got it wrong by injecting mud on Hill. I agree 100% with Wiseguy.

          (2) 12 Total Votes - 7 up - 5 down
  4. SewerHeightsRez says:

    Lamebook is a massive time suck that profits because people fool themselves into believing that they are actually accomplishing something.

    I suggest people have no Lamebook account at all as it is simply a personal information sucking device and has never been anything else. The encroachment on your privacy is simply unbelievable. Features which should be opt-in are not and consequently you simply loose control of your information. Take an example: Face recognition. Your sister takes a picture of you drunk at her wedding. She posts the picture on Lamebook and tags it. Lo and behold, 2 days later when the personnel department of the company you’re applying to types your name into Google, guess what is the first picture that pops up?

    And this will get worse and worse because this is precisely how these sites make money.
    Question: Is your Lamebook account more valuable than your privacy?

    (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Yep. The profile picture feature used to be optional but now FB automatically posts your profile pic, like it or not. I would recommend others NOT to use their real picture or especially one w/their children in it.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • Typoqueen says:

        In all due respect I find that a bit paranoid. If I take my kids to Toys R Us then any freak could take my kids pictures without me knowing it. If I take them to Kohls should I not let them try on clothes because some weird employee might be hiding a camera in the ceiling tiles. Should we just lock ourselves up in our homes so no one can take pictures of us. Yes FB could use our pictures or some weirdo might be able to breach the security to get our pictures but I can’t live in fear like that. I don’t use my phone number, address or birth date, if someone wants to stalk me or my family that bad then they don’t need FB, they’d find a way. But I would like to know of ONE case where people’s identities have been exploited and caused a negative impact on them. FB uses our info for marketing purposes. I don’t like it but so does the supermarket, it’s not a big deal IMO.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  5. Cindy says:

    I know of 3 cases where DA’s have brought up someones FaceBook comments to a jury or judge within the last year. Two cases occurred here in SLO and I know of a person who was recently harshly sentenced in Oregon after the DA told the judge about comments the defendant had made in her FB about detectives that the DA liked. Seriously, I’m not kidding about that, he (the DA) was even quoted in the press as quoting her personal opinions of certain LE in her FB!

    Likewise, if you see an article you like and give it a thumbs up, it will automatically post to your FB. FB has become extremely intrusive in fact there are sites that harass you into signing onto your FB before you post a comment, including KSBY.

    I know a person who say’s a collection agency found them on FB and called all their friends trying to talk them into giving them his new phone number! He said one collector even called his friend 4 times a day saying he heard John lived there and if he didn’t, then what was John’s phone number!

    Prospective Employers also look up FB accounts to see what a person is all about and what sort of friends and family life they have.

    Potential home invaders also target and monitor their potential victims FB account to determine when you might be on vacation or away for the day.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      Cindy, to clarify–you can “like” an article on another website without it being posted on your FB. You simply need to modify your privacy settings.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  6. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    The last line would have me laughing if not so scary. The technology is a year or two away!! I love that statement. They act like we should be excited the same as if they said it was 30 or 40 years off. I mean common two years is a long time and will really drag on. YEA RIGHT!!

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down

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