Spokeo is a people search service that specifically uses social networking sites to learn juicy details about people. One of Spokeo‘s target audiences is HR Recruiters, who can use Spokeo to get details about job candidates that they may have a hard time getting through a traditional online search. One of the site’s slogans is “Explore Beyond the Resume”- scary, right?
If you think you’re safe from Spokeo…think again. It allows people to do in-depth web searches across more than 40 sites, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Linkedin, Picasa, LiveJournal, Friendster, hi5, bebo, YouTube, Photobucket, amazon, xanga and many more.
And just check out some of the “testimonials” featured on Spokeo‘s homepage:
You can easily find information about ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends without their knowledge…and that’s not all, it even finds out what your friends are doing across tons of websites.–Matt Keller, abc News Reporter
It’s pretty surprising to find out what people (who you think you know) are listening to on Pandora or Twittering about. The best part is they don’t have to know you’re keeping track of them.–Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch Editor
Spokeo searches people’s activities on sites such as Flickr, del.icio.us, Amazon… sometimes turning up surprising material, from family albums to embarrassing shopping lists.–Vahini Vara, Wall Street Journal Staff Reporter
To me, Spokeo epitomizes why everyone should be incredibly careful about what they put out there online. I know that branding is important, and it’s important to create a following if you want to be a successful journalist. But I’m just not sure how much privacy I’m willing to sacrifice, and I definitely think it’s something that needs to be taken seriously. I suggest you check out Spokeo. What does everyone else think about it?