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Your Take: Banks Selling Your Shopping Data

Posted By Jim On 07/22/2011 @ 7:05 am In Your Take | 23 Comments

It was only a matter of time before banks started selling your shopping data [3].

When the recent financial consumer laws took the bite out of a lot of the fees banks charged, it was clear that they needed to find a replacement for all that revenue. Stockholders used to making billions aren’t content to make hundreds of millions, they want that revenue replaced. If you can’t charge someone $30 for bouncing a check, whether set by laws or by the competitive landscape, you have to replace it with something so you hit your revenue figures.

Selling data is and has always been a part of many company’s business models. The only difference is that banks and credit card companies have a lot of data. Years ago, they were using where you shopped to do a lot of things (this video from Good Morning America [4] is from two years ago). When you’re online, companies are changing their offers based on where you’ve been surfing [5]. Now, banks will be able to generate some more money by selling important shopping behavior.

I am not bothered by this if I can opt out of these various offers. While I value my privacy, I don’t think knowing where I shop and building a profile is an invasion of privacy (banks will probably let people opt out, if they know what’s good for them).

How do you feel about this?

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[3] selling your shopping data: http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/06/pf/banks_sell_shopping_data/index.htm

[4] video from Good Morning America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhBmVaz8ttY

[5] changing their offers based on where you’ve been surfing: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-issuers-watching-online-shopping-offers-1273.php

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