The Orwellian nightmare is becoming a reality with a new invasive app from Tenant Assured. With this app, a landlord will have your personal social media accounts scoured and then send the data received through a creepy algorithm to see if you would be a responsible tenant. The company wants to, in the words of co-founder Steve Thornhill, “take a deep dive into private social media profiles.”

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How it works

After a tenant applies for a property, they get sent an invitation to connect all of their social accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to the app. After searching every inch of your social profiles (that would show everything even if set to private) the app judges your personality traits and financial stress level based on all your updates, it also disturbingly lists your closest friends. By listing keywords like “pregnant, loan, and terrorist,” the report unethically judges your lifestyle and determines your risk.

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Profiling

While most rental companies simply do a credit check, Tenant Assured rates personality traits to determine how open, conscientious, extroverted, agreeable or neurotic the applicant is. With notes such as, “Openness is positively related to tenant turnover and those high in it are more likely to leave the property” the system labels each trait as desirable or undesirable, leaving the prospective tenant to the algorithms mercy.

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Source Assured

Source Assured plans to release more apps after this one that will allow others to place the same invasive criticism on potential contract workers, employees, and dates. They believe that if a person really wants something they will willingly give up their privacy to get it.

We live in the days where our most precious moments can be captured and shared in seconds. While that has its benefits for some, for others apps like this one, may discourage them from posting such personal information. Society is complacent because our privacy is undermined and constantly infringed upon. The rights we have are already being taken away, it would be shameful to willingly give them away to any company.

Works Cited

Caitlin Dewey . “Creepy startup will help landlords, employers and online dates strip-mine intimate data from your Facebook page.” Washington Post. . (): . . https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/06/09/creepy-startup-will-help-landlords-employers-and-online-dates-strip-mine-intimate-data-from-your-facebook-page/?tid=sm_tw

Robert Hackett. “This Invasive App Wants to Sell Your Private Data to Landlords.” Fortune. . (): . . http://fortune.com/2016/06/09/tenant-assured-landlord-data-app/

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