Choice of iOS or Android can predict credit-worthiness

In 2018, based on an analysis of 270,000 purchases between October 2015 and December 2016 on a German ecommerce site that sells furniture on credit, researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that variables such as the type of device could be used to estimate the likelihood that a purchaser would default. The difference in rates of default between users of iOS and Android was about the same as the difference between a median FICO credit score and the 80th percentile of FICO scores. Among other variables associated with higher default rates: using cellphones instead of desktop computers; an address from an older email service such as Hotmail or Yahoo; incorrectly entered email addresses; and arrival from clicking on a targeted ad as compared to a price-comparison shopping site. The digital indicators equaled or exceeded the accuracy of traditional credit scores. However, widespread use could have a chilling effect on online user behaviour and freedom.
Writer: Louise Matsakis
Publication: Wired


What is Privacy International calling for?

Limit data analysis by design

As nearly every human interaction now generates some form of data, systems should be designed to limit the invasiveness of data analysis by all parties in the transaction and networking.

Control over intelligence

Individuals should have control over the data generated about their activities, conduct, devices, and interactions, and be able to determine who is gaining this intelligence and how it is to be used.

Identities under our control

Individuals must be able to selectively disclose their identity, generate new identities, pseudonyms, and/or remain anonymous. 

We should know all our data and profiles

Individuals need to have full insight into their profiles. This includes full access to derived, inferred and predicted data about them.

We may challenge consequential decisions

Individuals should be able to know about, understand, question and challenge consequential decisions that are made about them and their environment. This means that controllers too should have an insight into and control over this processing.