Spokeo.com harvests your information | The Frugalista

Spokeo.com harvests your information

by frugalista on May 4, 2010

Hello! So, I found out about the website, spokeo.com, and I wanted to share my experience with the site. It’s a website that culls people’s information from social media sites, public records, marketing lists, etc. and houses them on the site. You can type in your email, phone, name or even let it raid your email inbox, and get information such as home photos, marital status, ip addresses, home addresses, assumed income on yourself, friends or strangers. It’s a lot.

After checking my information, I immediately hit the privacy button and followed the procedures to get my information off of it. As a journalist, I know all about public records, but I don’t like my records to be accessed by the general public so easily. What really ticked me off about the site was seeing the photo of where I lived, right next to my marital status and assumed income. Are you serious?

Immediately after cleaning out my profile on the site, I checked my credit report at annualcreditreport.com. You get one free report a year and it’s easy to get. Luckily, I didn’t notice anything strange on there, but with websites harvesting and selling your profile, you can’t be too sure. Identity theft is real.

I just wanted to alert you all to this website in case you wanted to see how much information is readily available about you.

So have you heard of spokeo.com? What do you think? Is it a good business model? Public records are everywhere, so is the site smart for offering such a service? Or, is the site, and others like it, socially irresponsible?

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