Social networkers’ virtual dossiers
Bet you didn’t know that there’s probably a “dossier” on any social networkers you know out there on the Web. The Detroit Free Press talked to the CEO of a new service called PeekYou, which is basically “a people search engine. And if you have a profile on one of the many social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook, it’s being tracked and aggregated and used to compile a virtual dossier on you.” The company, which aims to be the Web version of the phone white pages, already has about 50 million profiles in its database. “What does that mean? If you are in one of the social networking sites, running your name through PeekYou aggregates all the info into a profile that can be … well, pretty revealing.” PeekYou will remove a person’s profile, but only if they ask to be removed, so to protect their privacy they have to know about PeekYou. CEO Michael Hussey told the Free Press that social networkers need to post in their profile only what they’re comfortable having people read (or turn on privacy features – I’m assuming that if profiles are private, PeekYou can’t crawl them). For a different kind of exposure online, see also “Google Spy” at Slate.com.