Kaspersky’slatest report,Social credits and security: embracing the world of ratings,has
uncovered that 18% of consumers surveyedhave experienced issues accessing financial
servicesbecause ofan assessment of their social media information by scoring systems.
While such social scoring systems have become more widespread and are already implemented in many countries and industry sectors, their creation requiresmore attention,
as they may lead to negative consequences.
Nearly all of the services we use online for almost every aspect of our life – from social
networks to bank accounts – are data-driven to make people’s lives easier. With personal
information, including social media activity, organizations can offer their current and
potential customerscustomized services and providea more seamless experience. However,
such behavioral assessment also leadsto social credit scorings based on automated
algorithms that may impact our personal lives.Consumers have shared examples of such
experiences within the Kaspersky’s report “Social credits and security: embracing the world
According to the findings, 18% of consumers have experienced issues in getting loans or
mortgages because of information collected about them from their social media account,with 25-34 year-olds (32%) that most rely on these services, being the most
affected. While there are existingand well known regulations for credit scoring based on financial behavior, there is no framework people are publicly aware of when it comes to the
systems that collect personal information from our online profiles.
Kaspersky’s report suggest that people are ready to share sensitive private data to secure
better rates and discounts, and to receive special services. At the same time, a significant number of consumers remain vigilant with how they use social media, and some may not
consider letting organizations peek into their personal lives. For instance, a quarter (26%)
of respondents said they would not share their profile just so they could fast track through
credit card background checks.A slightly lower percentage group is not comfortable with sharing this kind of personal information in order to secure a place in a top school for a
child (20%) or a better flat for rent (18%).
“In today’s digital world a social scoring system will soon grow more widespread, becoming
not just a choice but an integral part of multiple services. However, the Kaspersky global survey highlights that there is a significant number of those who don’t want to share their
private information in order to secure any deals. Their opinion cannot be ignored, and as developers create AI algorithms into social ratings, the interests of all should be
considered, as well as questions of trust and transparency should be addressed.” comments Marco Preuss, Director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team in Europe.
While businesses try to benefit from technology and consumer data in new ways, consumers are also considering which organizations can be trusted with their data – as the
cyber threat landscape continues to widen and protecting personal data can be a big challenge. Kaspersky has found that consumers are relying more on medical operators, banks or insurance companies in questions of their data, rather than governments.Thus,
only 19% of respondents said they do not trust these companies or services to store their personal data, while a quarter (24%) of consumers say they do not trust the government.
ProfessorChengyi Lin, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, comments: “The main
objective of a social scoring system is to measure and improve trust – in both the digital and physical worlds. At the same time, the system will require trust from the public to
function. Depending on the economic, social and cultural context, the level of overall trust, trust in various entities and trust in the digital world vary country by country. Therefore, the decision on whether to design and implement a social scoring system, at least in the
short term, is likely to reside with each country. Beyond the obvious concerns on data privacy and security, the decision needs to carefully consider what trade-offs that society is willing to make, who the society is willing to entrust to design and operate the system, and
how the system will be implemented and governed.”
While sharing personal information online Kaspersky advises consumers to take the following steps to protect their privacy:
• Be conscious of what personal information you share online and who has an access to
your personal accounts. You can use Kaspersky’s Privacy Check service to explore how to change the privacy settings for your online services to take control of your personal data.
• Sharing behavior has its benefits but only with the theright services. An online survey may give you a discount off your favorite brand, but this may lead to a company learning
more than you wanted them to know. Remain vigilant about your online activities.
• Use a reliable security solution for comprehensive protection from a wide range of
threats, such as Kaspersky Total Security to protect online privacy. For instance, the Do Not Track feature prevents the loading of tracking elements that monitor your actions on
websites and collect information about you.
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