Against the Grain

Credit Agencies and the Commodification of Personal Information

If you think the collection and selling of personal data began in the last twenty years, think again. Consumer credit agencies like Equifax have been gathering information about people’s intimate details since they were created in the late 19th century.  Scholar Josh Lauer discusses the history of credit agencies, their key role in capitalist consumer culture, and why we shouldn’t expect them to look out for consumers.

Resources:

Josh Lauer, Creditworthy: A History of Consumer Surveillance and Financial Identity in America Columbia University Press, 2017

 

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