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Facebook May Use Your Friends’ Information To Judge Your Credibility

Facebook May Use Your Friends’ Information To Judge Your Credibility

Facebook’s main purpose for a lot of us is for us to coordinate with current friends, coworkers, and family, or to reconnect with old friends from way back. However, it may be much more than that in the foreseeable future.

A patent secured earlier in August may allow the social networking giant to help lenders in determining a user’s creditworthiness by tapping into your friends’ Facebook details and information.

How Does This Patent Work?

The patent suggests that lenders may be able to view the FICO credit score of your Facebook contacts to see if you are indeed credible enough when applying for a loan. Your friends’ credit rating on an average, per the patent, would need to be at least the minimum credit score to justify a loan being approved.

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Therefore, with the assumption that you would need a FICO score of 640 or more to qualify for a loan, and that your friends’ average credit score would be at 638, that would mean you would not be able to qualify for the loan.

Pros and Cons of This Patent

Assuming Facebook follows through and uses this approved patent to help lenders ascertain creditworthiness, it will not be the first company to use the invention to determine whether a person is a high-risk or a low-risk customer. It could be a boon for alternative lending as a whole, for consumers looking for another way to be approved.

Nevertheless, there are also several drawbacks to such an arrangement.

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One risk a few publications have pointed out is the chance of predatory lenders convincing people to make use of the technology if and when it sees the light of day. If all it takes is to consider the average of a person’s friends’ FICO score, it could open things up for otherwise non-creditworthy individuals who happen to have many friends with good to great credit.

Moreover, if lenders make use of any Facebook feature that involves the use of the patent, and allow it to cover business owners trying to take out a conventional loan, that could make it even harder for them to do so, hard enough as it is at the present.

But The Patent Draws Controversy

Considering all the ongoing talk about privacy breaches and cyber-hacking endeavors, it is not surprising that this patent has not been a very popular one in the tech press, and among consumers. After all, it would arguably be unfair if one cannot secure a loan, even with their pristine credit, if many of their friends happen to have bad credit.

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In addition, it would not be in good form to unfriend a contact in an attempt to boost the chances of your loan being approved.

Fortunately, Facebook has yet to confirm how it plans to use its patent, and there are existing laws that govern how lenders determine whether you are creditworthy or not. However, the fact that the Menlo Park Company would even consider such a thing has proven to be very uncomfortable and worrying for many consumers.

There are a lot of positive and negative aspects of Facebook judging our credibility. The basics pros are presented in simplifying the tasks for institutions such as banks and companies. Some people have nothing against it, as they see it as an important precaution of identity theft.

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Others see it as an an invasion of personal privacy. Facebook already uses its users interests to collect data which is then delivered to advertising companies, that’s why we see only those commercials that are related to our personal interests and hobbies.

If Facebook checks not only our profile but our friends to judge our credibility, though, then it will invade not only our privacy but the privacy of our friends.

Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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