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What’s a predictive score?

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Most consumers know that creditors use information about them and their credit experiences – like the number and type of accounts they have, their bill paying history, and whether they pay their bills on time – to create a credit score, which helps predict how credit worthy they are. (And if they don’t, they can learn about credit scores at the FTC’s Consumer Center.) What most consumers don’t know is that data brokers offer companies scores for other purposes unrelated to credit – for example, for marketing, advertising, identity verification, and fraud prevention. Businesses use these scores to decide which transactions require further scrutiny, what offers and prices to offer certain consumers, and even in what order to answer a consumer’s customer service call. 

Spring Privacy Series logo

Some have raised concerns about consumers’ awareness about what’s going on and the accuracy of the data used to create these predictive scores. Others have questions about how these scores might be used in the future. To explore these questions, the FTC is continuing its Spring Privacy Series on March 19, 2014, with a seminar on Alternative Scoring Products. We’re bringing together technologists, industry experts, consumer advocates, and researchers to talk over topics like:

  • What kinds of predictive scores are being used now? What are they used for? How will they be used in the future?
  • What kind of information is used to create these scores? How accurate is this information?
  • What are the benefits of these predictive scores?
  • Are there privacy concerns associated with these scores?
  • What consumer protections should be provided; for example, should consumers have access to these scores and the underlying data used to create them?

The seminar is set for 10:00 to noon Eastern Time at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., in Washington, DC. If you can’t attend in person, watch the webcast. We’ll post a link on the event page that morning.

The Alternative Scoring Products workshop is just one of a series of events the FTC is hosting this spring to explore the consumer privacy implications of emerging technologies. If alternative scores aren’t your thing, but you totally geek out over privacy and health-related issues, make sure you mark your calendar to discuss Consumer Generated and Controlled Health Data on May 7th.


Excellent information! I am truly looking forward to the webinar on this topic!

looking forward to webinar.

Many times the credit score is confusing when it comes to purchasing material things, renting an apartment, credit card approvals, and much more which requires a credit score. When some consumer pays for all things by cash when they can, the score will not go up, it will decrease, then what is a consumer to do when he or she need to rent an apartment, rent a car, or many other things which requires a credit score??? There should be some lenient with this path, but it seems as though they will require putting an amount of monies which seems unbelievable and impossible. What route should be taken when this occur???? There are many consumers who does not like credit cards or any monthly payments on cars, home is an exceptional, but all else want the consumer burden down in debts, like our USA. Monies owed and they can't pay their bills, so they want the consumer in the same boat???? Many consumers refuse to be as the USA who keep borrowing monies on top of of monies. This is sad and some consumers are in the same boat. The credit score is an unbelievable and confusing items to check a man status.

I am looking forward to this Webinar. Thank you very much.

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