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by Will Hernandez 0

A Businessweek article features initiatives from several firms in the payments industry and their use of unstructured social media data in the fight against fraud.

Equifax, Intuit, PayPal, Trulioo, and WePay have “begun trials” to determine the viability of data shared by users of social media in online merchant risk management procedures, and other venues. The “social graph” has long been the object of forward thinking risk managers’ attention, however there are caveats. Certain care will need to be maintained by the entities applying advanced analytics to data sets that might contain dirty or deliberately misleading data.

From Bloomberg:

While the companies can access only public information or what people choose to share, a great deal is readily accessible. Many young people allow the public to see certain parts of their Facebook profiles, as well as accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn (LNKD). Consumers also leave traces of themselves on blog posts, Yelp (YELP) reviews, and online forums. Public data can include photo tags, locale check-ins, and a person’s network of friends. Facebook and LinkedIn provide software tools that let companies automatically import information from profiles on the social networks—with users’ permission—and consumers are allowing this more often, opting for the ease of signing into a website through Facebook, for instance, instead of filling out a separate form.

“All the richness about the things people do—that’s hard to re-create,” says Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree Payment Solutions. “If you have hundreds of friends on Facebook that have existed for many years, fraudsters would have had to start many years ago and collaborate with hundreds of people.”

Click here to read more from Bloomberg.