How Your Friends Can See Every Site You Have EVER Signed Up To
Further to my post a few days ago about leaving Facebook I’ve been browsing the blog of someone called Michelle Tripp, who added Roomyverse to her twitter list and now we’re following each other like nutters who don’t speak. It’s weird. Anyway - in her blog she details a site called http://www.spokeo.com which - after I examined it - is the most chilling example of how your ‘PERSONAL’ fingerprint (however many years long it might be) has been embedded online for all to see.
Spokeo will look at every name in your email contacts account and astonishingly accurately associate their names and email addresses with every online networking facility out there and tell you what they’ve been doing.
So far I have found out an ex-girlfriend of mine is looking for a fencing partner via gumtree, using a dating website to find a boyfriend (updated 1 hr ago!!) and is now playing football once a week - the bitch.
This is what Michelle wrote in her blog:
“Want to know what this gem of a site does? Give it a whirl and you’ll see how nothing you do is sacred anymore. After entering my email address, a list of my friends’ email addresses whirred down my screen. Along came a detailed list of their personal web surfing activities. Not necessarily everything… just juicy tidbits aggregated from sites where they forgot to edit their privacy settings. Yikes. Note to self.
No. I did not need to know that my very private doctor friend ordered a clingy, see-through lingerie top. (I saw the picture). I also did not need access to the reading list of my sexy, albeit high-ranking military buddy who is apparently considering exploring the joys of Pilates (thanks Amazon). Not to mention the former boss who has a thing for the Temptations and apparently Jim Beam. Thank god my ex-boyfriend believes in protecting his online identity because frankly, I don’t need to know how many times in an average week he logs onto adultfriendfinder, or which porn sites are picking up the slack.”
So it seems every time you enter your email address into your computer you are potentially opening your entire private life up for the world and (worst of all) your friends to see. ‘So what?’ you might ask, if you have nothing to hide. But you do. We all do. Don’t we? We have all peeked at stuff we’d rather wished we hadn’t. We have all got pasts which we’d rather leave behind. I have just browsed a fansite of TV Presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson. It was with the intention of booking her, but my friends don’t know that! What horror! Luckily I would’ve needed to become a fan and created an account to leave my fingerprint available for Spokeo to find. Phew. Close one.
So it seems that as long as you have a private life and you think you’ll not be found out, I am shocked, ashamed, and saddened to say you’re wrong, and you will.
I am honestly shocked by what half of you are doing. Your all bad, dirty people. I’m appalled.
I have been researching this site further and am actually a little appauled by them as the first batch of spam mails have started to come in. I decided to delete the ‘test’ account which I had created and find that, just as with Facebook, it is not actually possible. You can only ‘deactivate’ the account. Spokeo, can also seemingly retain information as to whom is in your contacts list FOREVER…and hand it over to another company should they sell themselves on.
Here are two sections fromt heir T&C:
1. COLLECTED PUBLIC CONTENT
Spokeo displays any collected information for the sole purpose of content syndication. You are not permitted to republish and modify any copyrighted material without owner’s permissions. In addition, you can only direct our machines to collect information from you, your friends, and others who have approved your access. Spokeo does not assume any responsibility if you choose to abuse the system.
Spokeo may collect and analyze your usage patterns that are not personally identifiable. These non-personally-identifiable data are used to improve our s
If you want to complain about this contact this chap:
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