Episode #84

How Businesses Are Rating YOU

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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

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.

If you want more stories like this one, subscribe to the podcast, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook

    Music Playlist
  1. Pump The Breaks
    Artist: Steve Pierson
  2. Glisten Close
    Artist: Andrew Smith
  3. Discoteque
    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia
  4. Milky Way
    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia

Comments [3]


I believe this is not the answer in fact is not perfect the old style, but has been proof for years that is working, this is just another way, goverment and private company controls people, A lot of people has a lot of money but they don't look to have, besides there's no difference between rich and poor, only psychologic thing, is a thought of never be together with poor people.

Even 'cos poor people can become rich,
so this is not and never been the answer

Jun. 20 2014 03:02 AM

cpenn - we do know that if you make multiple Open Table reservations and then don't show up to them you can be booted from the system. So be sure to check in with the host/hostess as an Open Table reservation.

May. 08 2014 04:25 PM

Does anybody know if restaurants in the Open Table program are able to rate diners?

May. 08 2014 01:43 PM

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