Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Financial Privacy: Your Money Scrutinized

Your Money Under More ScrutinyThis Wired News article discusses anti-money laundering software being adopted by major banks and while we'd all like for bad guys who need to launder money to be caught with their dirty money, the effect of the software is to monitor banking activity over a much broader range than just bad guys.

Banks will be contacting depositors more often asking why this amount went to that person or organization, flagging certain patterns of banking activity as "Suspicious" and generally rooting about in our financial lives. While those with sufficient funds and large enough transactions to trigger alarms with anti-money laundering software are limited, many will see their banking activity closely monitored based on things like airline travel purchases and online payments through debit cards.

The software apparently builds profiles on bank customers based on periodicity of deposits and sources of those deposits, it will no doubt be busily building profiles on innocent depositors who simply don't fit the norm. Freelancing professionals receiving payments from widely ranging sources and for dramatically different amounts could be seen as terrorists by software trained to look for such things as irregular income and varying vendors.

Expect to be questioned by fed goons if you are not "normal" in your banking patterns.

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posted by RealitySEO at 11:06 AM


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