Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Piece of the Action

This is Fiction:
Your entire life is now part of a central database, and all aspects of it are intricately woven together and can be used for individual study or in comparison to any other person or group to gather statistical information. Everything can be monitored, and of course, since it can be monitored, it is monitored.

Who used this information? Maybe a better question was, who didn’t?

Regardless of whatever else had changed, capitalism was still the shining star of America, and the huge corporations that owned and ran the economy still lived & died by one thing and one thing only: continuous year over year revenue growth.

Wall Street wanted results, and doing as well as you had the year before impressed no one. The stock market analysts and the brokers and the shareholders didn’t care how you increased revenue, they only cared that you did.

And what Wall Street wanted, Wall Street got.

Every publicly listed corporation wanted their hands on that information, and since almost every one of them was already tied to the database in some way because of the broad encompassing reach of the DHS who controlled it all, the vault was opened. And why not? They all put data into the system; it wouldn’t be fair if they weren’t allowed to take some out.

Things just began to happen.

(from the novel "What So Proudly We Hailed")

This isn’t:
"The age of the plain old credit score is gone, says a report at the Wall Street Journal, and it's been replaced by ever more intrusive efforts by banks and credit agencies to gauge exactly what you're worth, and what you can pay.

To that end, financial firms are now tracking their customers' bank deposits, rent payments or home values, and even utility bills to figure out who may soon become a financial risk, reports WSJ's Karen Blumenthal.

So, for example, if your employer pays you through direct deposits and those deposits stop, financial institutions can now have warning that your money situation is likely to tighten, and may deny you credit on that basis.

But the efforts don't end there. A new area of research, income estimation, "took off earlier this year," WSJ reports, and involves financial firms collecting information about mortgages, personal loans and credit history to determine how much an individual makes and how much credit they should be given.

In this new era of deep data-mining, even your utility bills and rent check aren't out of bounds."

(source: Banks spying on your bills, rent payments, paychecks: report)

I'm confused now; which one was fiction again?