By this point, it’s common knowledge that Facebook possesses a ton of our data. The social media giant uses this access to help companies target advertising based on our interests, histories, education and more. And, according to a report in The Intercept this week, Facebook can even help advertisers guess users’ credit scores.
Facebook routinely shares our information, including location and demographics, with telecom companies via a tool called “Actionable Insights.” Facebook says the purpose of the feature is to help carriers provide better service, though it can also be used to target advertising. And, according to The Intercept, Facebook has told its partners that this information can also help identify creditworthiness.
According to experts, Facebook is able to skirt around financial laws because of its role as a middleman in the credit score process.
“From a functional point of view, what they’re doing is filtering Facebook users on creditworthiness criteria and potentially escaping the application of the FCRA,” Joel Reidenberg, the director of Fordham University’s Center on Law and Information Policy, told The Intercept. He also said that Facebook “may also be in a gray area with respect to those laws because they’re not offering credit, they’re offering an advertising space.”
It likely won’t come as a surprise to many that Facebook can guess our credit scores. But if Facebook wants to win back user trust, it’s got to find a way to stop leaking data like this.
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