Secret consumer scores influence whether you can return a purchase and more

Ever wonder why it seems like you’re always waiting forever on the phone to speak with someone at a store? Or why sometimes you can return items easily and sometimes you can’t?

It could be because of a secret score that companies have put together on you based on massive data. These scores, which can be hundreds of pages long, are supposed to root out credit card fraud. But some businesses, like Airbnb and OkCupid, may be using them to figure out who the biggest spenders are and how to market to them.



  • Kashmir Hill - tech reporter for the New York Times, author of “Your Face Belongs to Us: A Secretive Startup's Quest to End Privacy as We Know It” - @kashhill