If Visa Can Predict Divorce to a 98 Percent Accuracy Level Two Years In Advance, Imagine What Facebook Can Do With Our Data ::file under #prnightmare::

Forget a therapist, call your credit card company if you think you are having relationship issues.

MWM Foiled BY VISA

According  the Guardian, in an article by By Oliver Burkeman, a Google exec sent a rather shocking tweet during the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology/music trade show in Austin to try and make people feel better about Google’s data mining.

“…Walking past a bank of plasma screens in Austin that were sputtering out tweets from the festival, I saw the claim from Marissa Mayer <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2011/mar/12/google-maps-marisa-mayer&gt; , a Google vice-president, that credit card companies can predict with 98% accuracy, two years in advance, when a couple is going to divorce, based on spending patterns alone. She meant this to be reassuring: Google, she explained, didn’t engage in such covert data-mining. (Deep inside, I admit, I wasn’t reassured. But then Mayer probably already knew that.)”

The result is what I’m filing under #PRnightmare. For one, I had no idea anyone company could do this type of shit. Now I’m thinking Google and Facebook are all up to no good. Who gives a squat about about VISA!!! I don’t have a credit card…

This tweet sparked a number of articles. I grabbed the juiciest to share.

The Daily Beast, How Visa Predicts Divorce by Nicholas Ciarelli

::excerpt::

By scrutinizing your purchases, credit companies try to figure out if your life is about to change—so they’ll know what to sell you.If you ever doubted the power of the credit card companies, consider this: Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce. There’s no consumer-protection legislation for that.

Why would Visa care that your marriage is on the rocks? Yale Law School Professor Ian Ayres, who included the Visa example in his book Super Crunchers, says “credit card companies don’t really care about divorce in and of itself—they care whether you’re going to pay your card off.” And because people who are going through a divorce are more likely to miss payments, your domestic troubles are of great interest to a company that thrives on risk management. Exactly how the credit industry does it—through sophisticated data-mining techniques—is a closely guarded secret.

Categories: human rights

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