Do I TRUST mint with my money management?

Mint - refreshing money management

So I've been using Microsoft Money for quite a while to manage my money but since moving to gnu/Linux, I've not really converted the money file over to anything else. I was checking out the KDE application Money2 but started thinking there has got to be a better way to do this?

Well in steps Mint fresh faced from the Techcrunch conference. When I first heard rumours about it, I thought it was something to do with that terriable credit card company in the UK with the same name. However Mint.com promises to refresh money management by adding all the goodness of Web 2.0.

So I've been checking it out, and to be honest I like what I see but I'm not convinced they can be trusted with my finanical information. Now don't get me wrong I'm no hot shot with millions in the bank but I still wouldn't want what how much I pay for lunch (not a lot thanks to Tesco) in the public domain. I'm not saying Mint are leaking this information, I'm just not sure. I've been reading there Privicy policy and it all looks ok but I have this naggy feeling that this is dangerious and should be avoided for a while longer, at least let someone else be the test muppet. I had this feeling when I first heard about Paypal and to be honest I do use it but tend not to keep money in it for long and I use its most basic features. All those advanced features like hooking it into your bank i've avoided because it worries me. Although in a recent episode of Security now, Paypal's Director of Account protection was on talking about the levels of security and privicy they have for users of their service. SecureID was one of the solutions and to be honest, if my bank offered that, I would gladly use it.

I guess my fear of using Mint is a little overboard but like linking my facebook profile to some of the other sites I use, I think somethings are maybe left alone till I can trust them. Trust is a funny thing, I mean I trust my bank, paypal, amazon, Tesco, Plaxo, etc. But I don't trust Facebook, Mint, etc with my credit card details. They haven't been around long enough to prove their trustworthness. There rep is 0 in my book. I need Facebook to stop mining my information and start offering me real uses. Mint I guess will have to rely on good feedback from people on there own blogs before I start using it.

Its all useless anyway, mint is american centric, requiring a zip code before you can sign up. Have they never heard of Open ID? Simon Wilison was right, all startups should use Open ID if they want people to use their service. Now Mint you've lost a customer because although I could make up a zip code, why the hell should I?

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.