"And they are backed by regulators. FTC Chair Lina Khan, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein have jointly filed an amicus brief against Public Data. Their argument is that credit reporting isn’t a question of speech, it’s a question of regulating the process by which credit reporting happens. It’s not illegal to have inaccurate information in credit files, but it is illegal to not have a process to dispute these files. Since FCRA regulates market behavior and not speech, Section 230 does not apply."

It would be awesome if this view is upheld on appeal, and Facebook/Google et al. are held to the same standard with respect to any libel that others publish on their platforms. I do see a carve out though, in that Facebook/Google/etcetera aren't selling what others publish, whereas Public Data is. So the question is: is there any way for a corporation like Public Data to pivot to a FB/Google model in which the data, or access to the data, is not being sold?

Slightly off topic: The issue of credit reporting agencies offering to improve the credit scores of people if those people send them self-selected valuable data. Then turning around and selling batches of data to companies, some of which is 'corrected' with additional data, others of which isn't, yet giving scores to this data that states creditworthiness equivalency between the people the data represents.

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That's super helpful background. But thank goodness for disruptive technology. FICO will fall and we won't have to wait for regulators to catch up because Upstart has started to tear down this insufferable cartel (disclosure: long $UPST (+183% p.a. but thinking about adding more)

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Oct 21, 2021Liked by Matt Stoller

"Upstart goes beyond the FICO score to finance people based on signals of their potential, including schools attended, area of study, academic performance, and work history."

Holy crap. Gifted people like me who slacked in school are comparatively screwed, and regular people who, like me, were born and raised in small cities and towns are screwed as well.

Brilliant idea to select from those who have historically been selected from. Brilliant idea if you want to continue cementing the current upwardly mobile ladder into place. Horrible idea if you want to cultivate individual merit, and to cultivate a society that develops individual merit. Though I guess the rest of us can continue going to the companies that use the credit scores provided by the big three/four agencies. If this fifth agency uses different metrics maybe it will benefit a handful of people who wouldn't have benefited from the current three/four agencies, which would be to the net good.

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FICO is something of a different animal, and yes it should be torn down.

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