How Businesses Are Rating YOU

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Do you know what's in your consumer score?

Sure, you read Amazon reviews before you buy. Maybe you even take the time to rate those sneakers (“moderate arch support”) that you ordered from Zappos.

But did you know a lot of companies are rating YOU? You probably have a few rankings and scores being kept about you right now. 

This week is Part 2 of New Tech City’s exploration into the dark side of rankings in a Reputation Economy. (Here's part 1 if you missed it.)

Host Manoush Zomorodi investigates how she got slapped with a bad Uber rating she wasn't even supposed to know about. But that’s just the beginning. Just as the Fair Credit Report Act regulated the use of personal information in private businesses in 1970, privacy advocates and now the White House are calling for laws that regulate opaque consumer scoring that’s extracted from petabytes of data.

This is happening at banks, in car services, in marketing and more. As data privacy consultant Robert Gellman asks, “Now everybody is scoring everybody all the time on all kinds of characteristics. Do we all have to live according to a certain model in order to be treated properly in this economy?”

All this data may lead to a new brand of “digital redlining,” where some customers get treated better than others based on algorithmic decisions. Data discrimination could solve or replace old style racism. We ask what should or shouldn’t be done about secret consumer scores on this week’s New Tech City.

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