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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 May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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