Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Introducing Improvements to Borrower Privacy

Over the past year at Kiva, we have talked at length about how to provide better privacy options for the borrowers around the world who are posted on Kiva. We have consulted with our Field Partners and talked with Kiva staff who work directly with our borrowers and lenders to come up with a way to help better protect borrowers’ privacy.

In an effort to respect borrowers on Kiva, we are making some changes to the way that certain borrowers are displayed on the Kiva website. These changes will not affect the way that Kiva works, but they will affect the amount of information that is shared about borrowers publicly on Kiva.

What does this mean for you?

Starting today, all delinquent, defaulted, and refunded loans will become anonymous. If you loaned to a borrower who is delinquent or whose loan has defaulted, these loans will still be fully visible to you in your portfolio if you are logged into your account. However, if you loaned to a borrower whose loan was then refunded to you, details on refunded loans will be anonymous to everyone, even to lenders who originally funded the loans.

There’s more!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be continuing to work on making improvements to Kiva to protect borrowers’ privacy.

Soon, borrowers profiles will no longer be able to be found on Kiva through a search engine, and descriptions of delinquent, defaulted, and refunded loans won’t appear on the lend tab if you search for them. Additionally, journal updates about borrowers who are delinquent or who have defaulted on their loans will only be visible to lenders who have funded their loans.

Details on all loans are still available through Kiva’s API, and we will be working on applying the privacy settings on Kiva’s website to the information made available about borrowers through the API.

Because our Field Partners work directly with the borrowers and understand their needs, we’re designing our website so that they have different options for how much information to disclose about borrowers. Kiva is already set up so that our Field Partners can decide whether a  borrower’s location on their borrower profile should be shown or hidden. To add to that, when loans are fundraising, our Field Partners will be able to decide whether they feel comfortable listing borrowers’ full names or just listing their first names on the Lend tab. Once a loan has been funded, only the borrower’s first name will show up to anyone who didn’t lend to that borrower. If the borrower’s full name was listed originally, lenders to that borrower should be able to see their full name when signed into their Kiva account.

If you have any questions about these changes, please email us at, and we will be glad to answer your questions for you.