European Data Protection Digest

Credit Profile Firms Draw Ire from Data Chief

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—GERMANY

April 25, 2013

EUObserver reports on companies that specialise in credit profiling and “geoscoring” and how the rise in such companies has drawn concern from German Federal Data Protection Comissioner Peter Schaar, who has said the exact number of such companies “is not known.” One firm, Schufa, holds data on 65 million German citizens. The company pools data from banks on credit cards, mortgages and loans and combines the data with bill payment histories, traffic tickets and bankruptcy procedures to determine creditworthiness. Schaar said “geoscoring” has been illegal since 2011, “But there is a way around this,” he said. “If these firms add the age and the name to their calculations, then geoscoring is allowed.” Schaar is now asking for new legislation to close the loophole.
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