18% of consumers worldwide face problems accessing financial services due to the evaluation of their information on social media through rating systems, according to the latest Kaspersky report: “Social credits and security: embracing the world of ratings”.
While such social scoring systems are now more widespread and have already been implemented in many countries and industrial sectors, their creation requires more attention, as they can lead to negative consequences.
Almost all the services we use online for almost every aspect of our lives -from social networks to bank accounts- rely on data to make people’s lives easier. With personal information, including social media activity, organizations are able to offer existing and potential customers tailored to their needs services.
However, such a behavioral assessment also leads to social credit scores based on automated algorithms that may affect our personal lives. Consumers have shared examples of such experiences in the relevant Kaspersky report.
According to the findings, 18% of consumers had problems obtaining loans or mortgages due to information collected about them from their social media account, with those between 25-34 years old (32%) -relying more on these services- should be the ones that were most affected.
Although there are existing and well-known credit rating regulations based on financial behavior, there is no framework for citizens to know when it comes to systems that collect personal information from our online profiles.
Kaspersky’s report shows that people are ready to share sensitive private data to ensure better prices and discounts and receive special services. At the same time, a significant number of consumers remain vigilant about how they use social media, and some may not consider leaving organizations to “peek” at their personal lives.
For example, a quarter (26%) of respondents said they would not share their profile so they could get quick approval through their credit card history checks. A slightly lower percentage group is not comfortable sharing this type of personal information in order to secure a place in a top school for their child (20%) or a better apartment for rent (18%).
“In today ‘s digital world, a social rating system will soon expand further, and will not just be an option but an integral part of multiple services. However, Kaspersky Global Survey emphasizes that there are a significant number of people who do not want to share their personal information in order to secure any offers. Their opinion cannot be ignored and as developers create AI algorithms in social evaluations, everyone’s interests must be taken into account, as well as issues of trust and transparency.“
comments Marco Preuss, director of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team in Europe.
While businesses are trying to take advantage of technology and consumer data in new ways, consumers are also looking at which organizations can trust their data; as the landscape of digital threats continues to expand and personal data protection can be a big challenge.
Kaspersky has found that consumers trust doctors, banks or insurance companies more with their data than with governments. Thus, only 19% of respondents said they did not trust these companies or services to store their personal data, while a quarter (24%) of consumers said they did not trust the government.
Professor Chengyi Lin, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, comments:
«The main objective of a social scoring system is to measure and improve confidence; in both the digital and the physical world; at the same time, the system will require public confidence to function; depending on the economic, social and cultural context, the level of overall trust in different organizations and in the digital world varies by country. Therefore, the decision on whether to design and implement a social rating system, at least in the short term, is likely to be up to each country individually. In addition to the obvious concerns about data privacy and security, before making a final decision, one should carefully consider what compromises society is willing to make, who is willing to trust the design and operation of the system, and how. the system will be implemented and governed”.