Data brokers, analytics firms and retailers are creating hundreds of “secret” consumer scores that rank you on everything from the likelihood you will keep your job to how likely you are to commit fraud, according to a report released Wednesday by nonprofit World Privacy Forum.
Marketers, financial institutions, wireless phone service providers, law enforcement agencies and others use these scores to do everything from promoting new products to investigating crimes.
Yet, while these consumer scores are pervasive, most consumers don’t know they exist. Rarely are they able to view their scores, find out how they are compiled or used or correct inaccuracies like they can on a credit report, the World Privacy Forum found.
“Consumers have little to no ability to learn when their lives are affected in a major or minor way by a consumer score that they never heard about,” the report’s authors Pam Dixon and Bob Gellman wrote. The two are calling for more transparency and government scrutiny of consumer scores.