Consumers across the globe are facing major issues in accessing financial services due to their social credit ratings according to Kaspersky’s Social credits and security: embracing the world of ratings” report.

As per the report, 18 per cent of consumers globally have experienced issues while accessing financial services owing to their social credit assessment.

“According to the findings, 18 per cent of consumers have experienced issues in getting loans or mortgages because of information collected about them from their social media account, with 25-34 year-olds (32 per cent) that most rely on these services, being the most affected,” the report said.

“While there are existing and well-known regulations for credit scoring based on financial behaviour, there is no framework people are publicly aware of when it comes to the systems that collect personal information from our online profiles,” it added.

According to Kaspersky’s report, despite consumer’s willingness to share personal data to avail better services and discounts, a significant number of consumers remain vigilant with how they use social media.

“In today’s digital world a social scoring system will soon grow more widespread, becoming not just a choice but an integral part of multiple services. However, the Kaspersky global survey highlights that there is a significant number of those who don’t want to share their private information in order to secure any deals. Their opinion cannot be ignored, and as developers create AI algorithms into social ratings, the interests of all should be considered, as well as questions of trust and transparency should be addressed.” said Marco Preuss, Director of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team in Europe.

Consumers are also quite vigilant in terms of what organizations do they share their data with. Consumers find medical operators, banks or insurance companies more reliable in terms of sharing their data, rather than governments, the report said. Only 19 per cent of respondents said that they do not trust these companies or services to store their personal data as compared to 24 per cent of consumers who said that they do not trust the government.

Professor Chengyi Lin, Affiliate Professor of Strategy at INSEAD, said, “The main objective of a social scoring system is to measure and improve trust - in both the digital and physical worlds. At the same time, the system will require trust from the public to function. Depending on the economic, social and cultural context, the level of overall trust, trust in various entities and trust in the digital world vary country by country. Therefore, the decision on whether to design and implement a social scoring system, at least in the short term, is likely to reside with each country. Beyond the obvious concerns on data privacy and security, the decision needs to carefully consider what trade-offs that society is willing to make, who the society is willing to entrust to design and operate the system, and how the system will be implemented and governed.”

The report also urged users to remain careful of what data d they share and with what organizations. It also recommended using a trusted cybersecurity solution to further protect their data.

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