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Everyone's Got A "Surveillance Score" And It Can Cost You Big Money

By Patrick follow Patrick   2019 Jul 15, 8:57pm 458 views   4 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Major American corporations, including online and retail businesses, employers and landlords are using Secret Surveillance Scores to charge some people higher prices for the same product than others, to provide some people with better customer services than others, to deny some consumers the right to purchase services or buy or return products while allowing others to do so and even to deny people housing and jobs.

The Secret Surveillance Scores are generated by a shadowy group of privacy-busting firms that operate in dark recesses of the American marketplace. They collect thousands or even tens of thousands of intimate details of each person’s life – enough information, it is thought, to literally predetermine a person’s behavior – either directly or through data brokers. Then, in what is euphemistically referred to as “data analytics,” the firms’ engineers write software algorithms that instruct computers to parse a person’s data trail and develop a digital “mug shot.” Eventually, that individual profile is reduced to a number – the score – and transmitted to corporate clients looking for ways to take advantage of, or even avoid, the consumer. The scoring system is automatic and instantaneous. None of this is disclosed to the consumer: the existence of the algorithm, the application of the Surveillance Score or even that they have become the victim of a technological scheme that just a few years ago would appear only in a dystopian science fiction novel.
1   mell   ignore (6)   2019 Jul 16, 12:03am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

While I agree that it's creepy it may help going back to basics. You really only need basic groceries which will likely never be influenced by such a score, a roof, family, maybe musical / sports equipment and a phone/laptop to be happy. Ok add a car but that can be old. 90% of stuff/services such a score is targeting is shit nobody needs anyways. This is esp. true for the mostly materialistic womyn. Simplify life.
2   Hircus   ignore (0)   2019 Jul 16, 12:47am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

One of the things I've always wondered why they haven't pursued more aggressively is to track people who return everything they buy - to the point of abuse, or "renting".

I worked in retail in a past life, and anyone who has, knows that all retailers share a problem:

Most of their customers are sensible, but a small % of them cause most of the problems. In particular, some customers buy something, try the product for a few weeks, return it, repeat. Over and over. They essentially get to rent stuff for free. Charging restocking fees solve this problem to some extent, but it hurts all your customers so that you can punish that 1% of the abusers. It's worse than that though - these customers seem to have a sense of entitlement to always rip the retailer off, a sense of contempt for businesses, and they do all kinds of shitty things. Returns are so very expensive for retailers - they often lose most of the value of the entire product on a return.

It seems like we keep moving in the direction of retailers giving you "discounts" in exchange for giving them more info about you, such as ID / address, to participate in "rewards" programs. Eventually, these programs will totally be the norm, where they no longer represent a discount, but rather a fee charged to those who refuse to hand over their info via participation in the rewards program. But, the programs make for good ways to collect info.

I've always sympathized w/ retailers on the abusive customers, and hoped they would start a "bad customer" registry / blacklist and just start outright refusing these crooks. But, I can also see them going too far w/ info sharing. Seems they may have started.
3   HeadSet   ignore (3)   2019 Jul 16, 7:11am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

some customers buy something, try the product for a few weeks, return it, repeat.

Some assholes feel entitled to use Home Depot and Lowe's as a free tool rental. Buy a tool for a project, use the tool, then return the tool. I also saw at a Ford dealer and at a Honda dealer, where they key you take the vehicle for a day to try out. The F-150 was used to haul a load and was returned filthy. The Odyssey van looked like it was used for a ski trip.
4   NuttBoxer   ignore (2)   2019 Jul 16, 10:35am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

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