Your life is an open book.

Unless you live off the grid, big data companies know all about you. They constantly collect information about the things you buy and the websites you visit, plus thousands of other bits of personal information gathered from public records and your social media activity.

This data is run through sophisticated algorithms that make it possible for retailers, utilities and financial institutions to predict how you will respond to various marketing offers. These computer programs can predict your ability to pay your bills on time or predict that you are sick. They can even predict that a woman is pregnant.

The consumer scores generated from this “predictive analysis” determine what ads you see when you go online, the offers for products and services you get in the mail and the coupons that are sent to you via email.

“This predictive world is on its way and I’m not sure we’re fully ready for it,”said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum.

You can get your credit score, but there is no way to find out about these other consumer scores that have an ever-increasing impact on your life. Credit bureaus are highly regulated. Big […]

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