Social Networking giant, Facebook has been granted an updated patent from the U.S. Patent office on a technology that can help lenders discriminate against certain borrowers based on the borrower’s social network connections.

Facebook describes the patent as a technology that tracks the way users are connected in a network and says the main use case is for preventing members of a network from sending spam to other members with who they’re not directly or legitimately connected.

Technology can also aid in other types of discrimination and according to the last use case Facebook describes in the patent as:

When an individual applies for a loan, the lender examines the credit ratings of members of the individual’s social network who are connected to the individual through authorized nodes. If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise, the loan application is rejected.

The social network bought the patent from Friendster in 2010. The inventor, Christopher Lunt, now works at getinsured.com, a website that offers tools to help people enroll in health insurance plans.

[Via]