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WTF: Spokeo.com?

Posted by Rephreshed On 1:41 AM

Spokeo.com was founded in 2005 and is run by a total of 8 people. The founders of this company decided it would be a remarkable idea to develop a search engine designed to allow individuals to contact others that they may be searching for. This company has developed a software program that collects openly 'public' data from sources on and off the internet. All that is necessary to obtain this information on any individual is a name, address, email address, or friends of the indivual you may be searching for.


That being said, this website is one that breaks the boundaries of human respect on multiple levels. According to the site, they receive pieces of their information through other websites that offer e-commerce to customers. That in and of itself is a violation of privacy. In order for a website to offer e-commerce legally, they are bound to a contract of privacy to it's customers that it will not buy, sell, or give out information. This information is then used to determine your average annual income. Your street address allows the site to also determine what kind of neighborhood you live in as well as the average wealth of the neighborhood.


The site also states that some of the information that is gathered may be incorrect, based on the information you enter on any given website.


Their are multiple things infuriating about what this website has to offer. First being, they state their services are free yet when you try to review information you are quickly asked to pay $2.95 to view said information. Once you pay the viewing fee, the information is available to people that in reality should never have access to it. For instance, a rapist or murderer could use the information to stalk their prey. Completely out there but not unrealistic. Also, a business owner could use the website to do a 'background' check on prospective employees and base their opinions of false information.


I understand that to a certain extent this information is widely available to whomever searches for it. On the other hand, if an individual, such as myself, decides to have their information unlisted in phone books and other places of the like, then what gives this company the right to place that information for all to see? Their has to be an extent as to what information is considered free game in the world of database development.

4 comments

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Wow yes I couldn't have said it better myself! I think that this website should be prosecuted and all their funds refunded to people that fell for it. My information is up there and I don't want it to be! I thank you for your post and will spread the word too.

    Posted on November 1, 2010 at 8:08 PM

     
  2. Anonymous Said,

    I completely agree. I just typed in my name in Google and that website popped up in the second spot including several of my past addresses, my current address, and my biological father's address (who happens to have the same first and last name but is an embarrassment to me). What if I wanted to partner with someone or get a job and they mistake him for me?! What if someone wants to steal my identity and everything I've worked for? This website has gone too far!

    Posted on March 1, 2012 at 12:47 AM

     
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