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February 20, 2008

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Simon Chamberlain

Definitely spooky. I don't mind (so much) being able to see what my friends are up to. The problem with this is it equates "friend" with "anyone who has ever emailed me on Gmail". So it includes my real-life friends, my internet acquaintances, and anyone who emailed the support list at a website where I'm an admin. I can't imagine that the last group would be happy about this (I've already found some people's real names and jobs, etc).

This is somewhat scary.

Hazel Edmunds

Simon has it wrong. It isn't "somewhat" scary it's "really, horribly, frighteningly" scary.

Jez Pickering

I'm a user of Live Journal. Someone made reference to Spokeo and suggested we all go there and hand over our password and take a look at how it worked. That made me angry - what a dumb suggestion. I didn't visit the site, but made a public post saying that I thought handing an email password to ANYONE was pretty dumb. Within an hour of me posting, a Spokeo representative had left comments in both my Live Journal and my Facebook account. (How they trawled my post up so quickly is the first eye-opener). The comment basically encouraged my to make a .csv copy of my OUTLOOK address book and upload it to their site! I don't need to tell you that an Outlook address book can contain real names, addresses and telephone numbers. I can only speculate as to why they were so interested in getting that kind of information. My LJ and Facebook accounts have been deleted, and I've changed my hotmail account. The owners of Spokeo are on some kind of mission - and they're going to great lengths to accomplish it.

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