Would you offer up your Facebook friends for money?
American Express wants you to. The credit card issuer launched a “Link, Like, Love” social media campaign asking cardholders to allow AmEx to tap their circle of friends, interests and other “likes” in order to offer customized shopping discounts.
Newsweek writer Jessica Bennett wrote a piece called “What the Internet Knows About You,” which reveals that there are companies that aggregate information about you from all over the Web. This information can be used to determine whether a person is employable, eligible for health insurance or credit — and even to rate a person’s sex appeal.
Bennett had one such company, ReputationDefender, investigate her. The company found her Social Security number and other private data that they normally search for, but they took things a step further than they normally do to show Newsweek how much is possible, especially when factoring in the information available on social media. They found out her body type, health status, intelligence, education history, maturity and financial habits and much more. The scariest part is that it pulled in a lot of false information about her based on stories she wrote in the past, such as an article about polyamory and another about marijuana. Bennett goes on to discuss how this type of technology could really be the credit score of the future.
Business owners, if you have a merchant account that lets you accept credit or debit cards, Uncle Sam just stuck his nose further into your business.