Online tracking could kill your credit score


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credit-score-1If you’re friends with financially irresponsible people on Facebook, you might be irresponsible yourself.

At least that’s what some lending companies believe, and it’s why they’re incorporating thousands of online data points into their determinations of people’s creditworthiness. It’s the subject of a great CNNMoney story this week by Katie Lobosco.

As many as 8,000 pieces of online info may determine whether you get a loan, including things like your browsing behavior, tweets, Facebook friends, PayPal activity, public records, other people’s recommendations (or complaints) about you, geographic location, downloaded apps, and tracking cookies.

One company, called Kreditech, even analyzes the way in which you fill out your online loan form to “score” you. You lose points for using all caps and speeding through too quickly to read the details, but you get points for taking your time and using correct spelling and capitalization.

And this “data for a deal” system isn’t only for financial dealings. Auto insurance companies ask for your driving data, down to details like how hard and often you brake and whether you speed, to determine how risky you are. Tech firms sift through marketing data to identify future cancer patients and guess at people’s lifespans. Life insurance companies offer people different default policies based on tracking.

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If you’d rather stay off the radar, use tracker-blocking tools and avoid giving out your real personal info whenever you can. But if you want to trade away your privacy, this new crop of companies says there’s something in it for you. What do you think?

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