Almost a third (32%) of 25-34 year olds have experienced issues getting a mortgage or loan as a result of their activity on social media and what’s more 18% of people globally have experienced issues accessing financial services because of an assessment of their social media information.
That’s according to a major new study released today from Kaspersky, that has revealed how our online data has become the new currency in which we trade, affecting our access to online deals, rates of insurance, mortgages and loans.
With our ease of sharing personal information to third parties online, cyber security experts at Kaspersky are urging people to understand that their personal data is valuable and that it should be traded with extreme caution.
With such systems based on automated machine learning algorithms, experts warn that it is difficult to know what choices they make and whether it’s possible to rely on them – especially in terms of security and this could pave the way for cyber criminals to access our data.
45% of us admit that we don’t know how the systems that use automated systems based on information received from us work, with very few of us stopping to interrogate why, how and who is going to have access to our information.
This concept is called a social scoring system, and it is rapidly being deployed by businesses and governments around the world when it comes to assessing eligibility and access to multiple services and deals. For example, many countries already see the use of social ratings in various arenas. For example, insurers in New York are officially allowed to determine premiums by analysing data from social networks and China is developing a social credit system in order to rate its more than 1 billion citizens.
But with data now being used as a currency, the report highlights how a staggering number of us are freely trading our personal information in return for access to deals and benefits, without knowing the cost. When it comes to our social media profile, 67% of us would share our profiles to secure online shopping discounts, with 52% of us prepared to do this to fast track through travel security.
The report delivered amongst 10,000 people, highlights how half of people (50%) are happy to log into online accounts via their social media profile. What’s more, one in five of us are comfortable sharing our credit score with employers, almost four in 10 (36%) of us would share sensitive data to secure better rates, and 26% are even comfortable with sharing our financial status with a prospective employer.
And our attitude about giving away our data so freely has seen 76% of people say that they total trust in the government to store their personal data, with 81% having total trust in their medical operator, bank and insurer with their information.
With social rating systems continuing to grow the more digital we become, experts are warning that any system dealing with data should be able to address customer concerns related to privacy and transparency.
So, do you login to public Wi-Fi via giving away your social media details? Would you exchange your private information in return for more favourable financial or shopping deals? Or would you share your personal online information if you thought it would grant your child access to a better school?