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Should Access to Social Media Accounts Be Allowed?

Should Access to Mortgage Applicant's Social Media Accounts Be Allowed?

We just read from Newstalk.com that a bank is demanding access to mortgage applicants social media accounts.  This requirement is part of the suggested mortgage qualification process.

The bank has said it only examines publicly available social media data in an effort to monitor social media trends and sentiment towards the AIB brand.

Social media is one of the aspects which somehow determines the behavior of an individual.  Making this a mandatory requirement to apply for a loan seems to be something which can cause a debate.  There are strict laws protecting the privacy of every individual borrower.  They make such moves difficult even if it is important to know their capacity to pay the mortgage.

We have also seen some startups before which tries to leverage social media following and behavior to apply for a loan.  It seems that most of them are still in the development stage and some had already closed due to security issues and unreliability.

Social Media Behavior and Mortgage Application

Do you check the social media of a mortgage applicant in order to check their behavior?  Would it be beneficial to the mortgage application process and the mortgage industry as a whole?

What if the applicant social media confirms behavior that indicates a high rate of foreclosure?  Such behavior might include frequent gambling for example or unstable behavior?  It might be an indirect way to give an evaluation that this applicant should be rejected.  In some way such knowledge can prevent to some degree possible loan default, but, is it proper to do?

“Is the bank going to turn down applications from people whose social media shows that they gamble a lot maybe, or that they are going to anti-eviction protests?”

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?

Reference:  AIB demanding access to mortgage applicant’s social media

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