Credit card companies predict divorce

Big Business is now Big Brother. With the proliferation of data available to credit card companies, is it really surprising that spending patterns can be scrutinized to ascertain a person’s lifestyle and so much more. Yale Law Professor Ian Ayres in his book “Super Crunchers” says that Visa has the ability and wants to know if your marriage is headed for the rocks. The theory is that people going through divorce are more likely to miss payments, which is of significant interest to credit card company risk managers.

It has also been reported that data crunching has been used by big box retailers like Canadian Tire to create psychological profiles of its customers. Who knew that your purchase of a fly swatter or a carbon monoxide alarm could assist in a DSM analysis?

Maryland State legislator Saqib Ali introduced a bill called the Credit Card Blacklisting Prevention Act to prevent credit card companies from reducing credit limits or increasing interest rates based on shopping patterns and spending habits of credit card holders. The bill has passed the Senate and is expected to become law, the first of its kind in North America.

Absolutely Orwellian.


3 thoughts on “Credit card companies predict divorce

  1. I am looking forward to your developing blog – it is certain to be among the most interesting! The spending pattern information credit card companies maintain is certainly a formidable analytical tool, but at least it requires interpretation and a thin veil of privacy is maintained by the fact that most patterns can fit a variety of profiles. Google and its ilk have sequestered a variety of credit payment mechanisms, and with its ongoing policy of deleting nothing, can provide a rich and detailed history on almost anyone that, in its detail, requires essentially no interpretation. The date of the suspicions of infidelity would I suspect in most cases be immediately obvious. And every bit of information that passes through your link to the internet must pass through a service provider. Both Shaw and Rogers log everything going in and out, providing a complete and easily reconstructed history of all internet activity, including my posting of this message.

  2. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


  3. Hey, thanks for saying hello. If there are any topics you wish me to blog on, just let me know. As you can see, my main legal interests are family law and criminal law. Stay tuned for posts on the following issues:

    1) International child abduction
    2) Canada’s witness protection program
    3) Spirituality and Divorce

    Cheers! Georgialee Lang

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