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View Diary: NYT Editors, Senator Leahy Tacitly Wonder If Obama’s Serious About Ending NSA Phone Dragnet (267 comments)

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  •  BBB, I'm in the PPI business...have been for... (24+ / 0-)

    ...well over a decade. Consumer analytics, the whole bit.

    Lawyers abuse the sh*t out of Westlaw, criminal records searches, unauthorized/illegal credit report pulls...the whole nine yards. It's a fucking joke. You know it. I know it.

    I have DOZENS of wealthy (I'm not) friends that pull this PPI (Personal-Private Information) on f*cking dinner guests and the kids going to the prom with their daughters and sons.

    Shit's out of hand. Why? Because the credit data firms and the PPI co's no longer have the real estate/mortgage data bucks bonanza coming in, so they have to make up their revenue elsewhere.

    I've done some work in the health care industry in this regard, too. Ever seen the sci-fi flick, "Gattica?" Turns out, for the past few years (I first heard about this roughly five years ago, in a meeting with a MAJOR health care software firm), health care co's are quietly running analytics tests (these will take many years to prove themselves out) for actuarial purposes on the physical conditions (major illnesses, causes of death, etc.) of the parents of current applicants, to see if these health insurance companies can make actuarial decisions regarding policy price, acceptance, etc. (even though it's of questionable legality, on a GOOD day--and now at least somewhat illegal under the ACA, etc.) based upon parental health history and genetics! How do health care firms get away with this? They're allowed to TEST and RESEARCH whatever they wish.

    And, we can bet our sad asses that if these health firms see enough of a bottom line in these efforts, they'll do whatever they need to do to institutionalize these Sci-Fi-like practices throughout the industry.

    Why? Because they can!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:00:03 AM PDT

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    •  Oh its way beyond that. (7+ / 0-)

      These data companies actually have psychological profiles they work up based on reams of data pulled together and mined. This is beyond the 'are you on any medications' trap and well into 'you told your wife you were playing golf but did she know that you were sleeping with the golf pro in the clubhouse' territory. Like actually giving probabilities that this personis doing x. And its a full range of human behaviors. Like, 'this person is highly likelyto accept a bribe' and 'this woman wont testify because shes afraid of crowds...so just inform her the courtroom is likely to be crowded and she'll shut up.' These data people are pitching this stuff to insurance companies to help them avoid paying claims. Its crazy.

    •  A couple of other "bedtime" PPI stories... (19+ / 0-)

      1.) There's the one about a top-three consumer credit/finance firm that's encouraging retailing salespeople in big-ticket merchandise outlets (furniture, jewelery stores, etc.) to pull credit files on their cellphones on consumer walk-ins who provide the salespeople with their address and nothing else; and then these salespeople DO NOT EVEN LET THE CONSUMER KNOW they're doing this. (We're talking one of the three largest consumer finance companies in the country.)

      2.) The top-three MORTGAGE company that instructed my business to ditch tens of thousands of mortgage app leads based upon zip code ONLY, deliberately REDLINING consumers AT THE GREETING, so to speak, of the entire mortgage application process. Instructions: "Send all apps in "these" zip codes (entire inner cities throughout the country, in fact) to direct mail. We'll get back to them in a month with some mail. We don't want 'em. And, send all applicants in the following (list provided) directly to our call center in real time."

      So much for the CRA and the FACTA Act...it's a f*cking joke. (And, you know it, too!)

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 12:19:08 AM PDT

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