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Cyber Spying, Identity Theft – You And Spokeo.com

I realize that I’m somewhat of a public figure (for better or worse) but I’m also fond of my privacy. You know, stuff that just isn’t anyone’s business. Do yourself a favor and check out the website I hate the most, because you’re probably on it. And then we can both hate it.

Spokeo.com homepage
Photo by Michelle Wolfe/KMMS

I hate spokeo.com. It actually pisses me off. I’m one of those people who paid good money every month to have my stuff unlisted in the phone books. Every year I register on the Do Not Call registry. Well, this stupid website blows all that effort out the window by just gathering every bit of B.S. about you that is publicly available and puts it IN ONE PLACE FOR ANY JERK TO SEE.

Yeah, that’s right. I can take a look at your house. See about how much it’s worth. Look at how many family members live there with you and what their names are. See why this site pisses me off?

According to Wikipedia:

“Spokeo is a social network aggregator web site that aggregates data from many online and offline sources (such as phone directories, social networks, photo albums, marketing surveys, mailing lists, government censuses, real estate listings, and business websites). This aggregated data may include demographic data, social profiles, and estimated property and wealth values.

All data collected by Spokeo is publicly accessible from its original sources. According to the site, Spokeo does not originate data and information available is only as good as its source. The information available originates from information people provide that becomes public information “even if a person isn’t on Facebook or Twitter.” Some users reported problems with removing their listings, and some independent reports verified that the removal process was “spotty.” Since then, Spokeo launched the 4th major revision of its website on March 1, 2010 and announced in mid-April that these bugs were resolved.The extent and types of information available through the redesigned site have led to controversy resulting in increased internet traffic.

On November 17, 2010, Spokeo 5.0 was released.Spokeo 5.0 implements graphics, icons, and a new design intended to present information in a more visual way. The future plans for Spokeo 5.0 include adjustments to the design and new interactive elements.

On December 27, 2010, Spokeo released Username search. Spokeo username search scans across social networks, blogs, photo albums, dating sites, music networks, video sites, ecommerce stores, and other web services in real-time to help find online profiles with similar usernames.”

Well, check yourself out at spokeo.com and then remove yourself. Unless you like that sort of thing. The pass this along to anyone you care about and tell them to remove themselves. (After you look up how much THEIR house is worth, right?) -Michelle

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