Live around the traffic jam

Live around the traffic jam

occurs and still want to add an imprint to his profile, should check his privacy settings beforehand and adjust them if necessary. Because with Xing’s weakest protection setting, the phone number and email address would be visible to all members of the social network.

What to do in the event of a warning?

If you are one of those affected who receive a warning letter in your mailbox, you should initially remain calm and it is best to contact a lawyer. In addition, make sure to adhere to the deadlines set by the warning letters so as not to drive up the required costs and not to sign anything without hesitation.

You can find all information about the correct handling of warnings in our guide "Dealing correctly with warnings".

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Are you active in social networks and have networked with friends, acquaintances or business partners on Facebook, Xing, Linkedin or wkw? Then, from now on, take a good look at who you are friends with there – your creditworthiness may depend on it in the future.

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What does someone buy regularly? Who is he socializing with? Does the person pay their bills on time? Anyone who would look at all these data sets could draw an exact picture of each person. What sounds like the nightmare of every data protection activist could in the future become a reality when determining creditworthiness.

There are several companies around the world that already include social networks in their credit decisions. One of them is the company Kreditech, based in Hamburg. The start-up company was founded in 2012 and would like to use social networks to make it easier for banks to decide whether an applicant is creditworthy.

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Shopping and friends play a role

The system that determines the creditworthiness examines the online personality of the potential borrower and creates a profile based on more than 8000 data points.

Kreditech gets the bits of information from various sources – including account and credit card movements, but also buying behavior in online shops, surfing behavior or entries in social networks and even the creditworthiness of friends. The prerequisite is that the borrower gives the company access to this data.

Germans leave a lot of Facebook data behind

Banks usually rely on the customer’s financial essay community service You use automated creditworthiness determinations based on data from the existing business relationships or information from Schufa. Kreditech, on the other hand, also looks at the Amazon and eBay accounts. The Amazon account may reveal that the applicant has bought non-fiction books on debt counseling.

Or the friends list on Facebook is partly made up of unemployed people and the applicant’s contributions in the social network show extreme weaknesses in grammar, which are unusual for someone with a comparable education. After all, 25 million Germans are active users on Facebook, so a worthwhile amount of data should come together.

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Many pieces of the puzzle result in the creditworthiness

"Many of these data points have little informative value when viewed in isolation, but only receive their predictive power in the overall context", explains Kreditech boss Diemer. Overall, the individual factors in the example would therefore call the creditworthiness into question. Therefore, from the perspective of Kreditech, they have more informative value than a mere look at the financial history of the borrower, as is the case, for example, with Schufa.

Kreditech emphasizes that they use data that are voluntarily and optionally released by the user, including data from social networks or the eBay username. Raw data would not be saved, nor would personal data. "Users who do not release this data are not disadvantaged, but are assessed using so-called ‘Similarity Scores’," says Diemer.

Voluntariness with aftertaste

However, this advertised voluntariness has a bland aftertaste. In fact, an applicant does not have to reveal anything about himself. But those who share data about themselves, according to Diemer, get better terms for their loan. In short: The transparent citizen is rewarded – will the potential customer then opt for their privacy?

Apart from that, Kreditech gets the information from Facebook via the function "Facebook Connect" from. By clicking on the confirmation button, the customer gives his consent that Kreditech’s data collector can start. Which details are then read out cannot be influenced.

Schufa started a similar project

Schufa, Germany’s largest credit agency, had also toyed with the idea in mid-2012 of whether social networks could be used to make statements about creditworthiness. After the project became known, the Schufa came under criticism of the public and data protectionists and refrained from doing so.

But even without such data, the Schufa rating system is one of the most accurate. The credit agency collects all relevant financial data in Germany and can thus provide an assessment for every borrower.

This is based on data about a person’s entire financial history. However, such data depends heavily on whether Schufa receives the information from banks and companies. However, even if there is, it may take a while for a person’s profile to be updated.

Kreditech criticizes Schufa method

Sebastian Diemer from Kreditech criticizes this system: "Predicting future payment behavior based on historical payment behavior gives a wrong picture of customers, since life situations etc. change faster and faster. Someone who may not have been creditworthy a few years ago is now or the other way around. Predicting the development of stock prices based on historical development is similarly imprecise."

Doubts about new systems are in order

The argument that traditional systems are not always able to show the life and financial situation of a borrower cannot be dismissed out of hand. Most of the data is from the past and does not necessarily accurately reflect the present.

However, the question arises as to whether the information requested on social networks is actually meaningful. After all, why should a borrower be unreliable when paying installments because friends of his are unemployed? And do surfing behavior or the operating system actually say something about your own creditworthiness?

While Kreditech itself grants small loans in Eastern Europe and Spain – Australia and South American countries are to follow soon – the company intends to advise banks in Germany in the future. Given that German banks are increasingly outsourcing parts of their loan processing, Kreditech’s scoring methods could soon be used here too.

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Garmin is refreshing its nüvi series: At IFA 2011, the navigation device manufacturer is showing the Garmin nüvi 2495LMT and the larger Garmin nüvi 2595LMT, two new mid-range models that should be even better to use thanks to new software.

Guidance 2.0 is the name of the software package that is installed on the new navigation devices from the Garmin nüvi series as well as the Garmin nüvi 3490LMT, and the software is characterized by map technology with a simplified display, improved search functionality and the new Garmin 3D Traffic information center. The Garmin nüvi 2495LMT (4.3-inch display) and the Garmin nüvi 2595LMT (5-inch display) are intended to guide the driver to their destination even more quickly and easily. Guidance 2.0 offers new functions such as free text search, letter hiding and QuickSearch, which shows suggestions within fixed categories based on the individual search history. The POI display has also been revised: with a finger press on the POI button on the map, the user can, for example, start navigating to the petrol station in the immediate vicinity without first having to use the menu.

Garmin nüvi now with 3D traffic

The new Garmin 3D Traffic traffic information center – Garmin’s answer to the well-known TomTom HD Traffic – combines various data for its traffic jam warning system and a dynamic route calculation. The service supplements current traffic information with different speed profiles for days of the week and times of day, which are based on historical traffic flow data. In addition, the new Garmin nüvi models for 3D traffic rely on Navteq Traffic, which is able to expand its data sources with the help of additional mobile phone and ADAC data to around 18 million individual items of information per day and to expand coverage to over 100,000 kilometers of road network.

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Known functions in the Garmin nüvi refreshed

Garmin also revised known functions. The two navigation devices from the Garmin series now show the well-known PhotoReal 3D intersection view with around 32,000 intersections from Eastern and Western Europe on the split screen, while multi-lane roads are displayed separately from one another and intersections with different levels are clearly displayed. Both the Garmin nüvi 2495LMT and Garmin nüvi 2595LMT come with free lifetime map updates and a free traffic subscription. This means that current maps, points of interest and navigation information are always available to users. Map updates can be downloaded up to four times a year. The Garmin nüvi 2495LMT and Garmin nüvi 2595LMT are expected to be available from October 2011 at an MSRP price of 199 euros and 219 euros, respectively.

The Stiftung Warentest has in the February issue of the magazine test tested the latest navigation devices from the four manufacturers Becker, Falk, Garmin and TomTom. A total of twelve devices with different screen diagonals were tested for their quality, functions and suitability for everyday use. Good devices are available from 130 euros and all offer free map updates. But some functions of earlier generations have also disappeared.

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The tested satnavs have screen diagonals from 10.9 to 17.6 centimeters. They all have one thing in common: The days when map updates cost up to 70 euros are over for good.

The manufacturers supply unlimited map updates for all devices, some of them several times a year. The reason for this is likely to be competing navigation apps on smartphones and tablets, which can always access the latest online maps free of charge.

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Free map updates are too big

The manufacturers of traditional navigation systems have now followed suit. But the free map updates require patience. Such an update is installed by connecting the navigation system to the computer via a USB cable.

With the Garmin devices, the download took one and a half hours in the test, because the map updates are several gigabytes in size.

After registering online, Falk sends a download link by email. However, the testers had to wait 12 hours for this email. The update was also so big that the testers first had to delete some countries, as otherwise the map data would not have had enough space on the navigation memory.

Much praise for XXL screens

The screen diagonal of 17.6 centimeters in the Becker Ready 70 (overall rating "Well" 2.0) and Garmin Nüvi 2797 (overall grade "Well" 2.2) impress, according to the assessment of the testers, with their particularly good map display.

The testers rated the fact that TomTom implemented a new map display with light blue route display for the Go 400, Go 5000 and Go 6000 devices. With the simpler models 20 M and 25 M, which still show a red-colored route, the route can be seen much better.

TomTom offers the best driving recommendations

When it comes to driving recommendations, all test devices from TomTom are ahead. Most of the other sat navs were also involved in this discipline "Well" rated. Only two devices – the Garmin Nüvi 3597LMT and the Falk Neo 520 LMU – couldn’t quite convince here.

The testers regretted that the TomTom Go models in particular zoomed too far into the map section. Departures on a freeway are displayed so briefly that it becomes difficult to drive ahead.

Live around the traffic jam

TomTom’s live service for traffic jam detection and avoidance is implemented free of charge in the Go 5000 and Go 6000 via a built-in cellular module.

This function is only available for a fee on the TomTom Go 400 and the Garmin sat navs. In addition, a smartphone must be clamped in via Bluetooth for data transfer. This incurs additional costs over the mobile phone contract.

Handling top, battery flop

Almost all of the testers rated the handling "Well".