Sunday, June 21, 2009

PayPal and data mining

I stumbled across an interesting article on PayPal's data mining practices, which brings up some serious issues surrounding online privacy and the digital divide. Individuals without established web surfing and online transaction histories are more likely to be labeled as "fraudulent users" and denied access to PayPal's services. By monitoring users' "digital breadcrumbs," PayPal can deny people access to their services based on their credit histories, the ways and means in which users access the web, and other unnecessary discriminatory practices.

I've been using PayPal for at least 7+ years, but have never taken the time to look at their privacy policy. I'm a bit surprised that I haven't thought of examining the fine print on that site, but that's going to change awfully soon. I can only imagine the amount of data that they've collected about me over the 7+ years that I've been a registered user. Yikes.

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