Secret E-Scores Chart Consumers’ Buying Power

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By Natasha Singer, New York Times

“AMERICANS are obsessed with their scores. Credit scores, G.P.A.’s, SAT’s, blood pressure and cholesterol levels — you name it. So here’s a new score to obsess about: the e-score, an online calculation that is assuming an increasingly important, and controversial, role in e-commerce.

…It might seem strange that one innovator in this sphere has blossomed here in St. Cloud, a world away from the hothouse of Silicon Valley. It is called eBureau, and it develops eScores — its name for custom scoring algorithms — to predict whether someone is likely to become a customer or a money-loser. Gordy Meyer, the founder and chief executive, says his system needs less than a second to size up a consumer and to transmit his or her score to an eBureau client.”

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