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    Computerworld: Spock sale sparks privacy concerns

    Computerworld has an interesting story on the purchase of Spock by Intelius: 

    There’s some hand-wringing going on over the recent announcement that Intelius, an online background check service has purchased Spock, a people search engine, for an undisclosed amount. Some say there’s a shady vibe that emanates from Intelius that may not bode well for Spock, but the big concern seems to be that this marriage signals a slippery slide toward an invasion of privacy.

    Blogger Ajit Jaokar outlines why, although Spock’s purchase was a brilliant move by Intelius, it still gives some people the creeps. Spock gathers data on individuals by culling data from public Web sites like Facebook, MySpace, and personal blogs, then assembles a profile based on the information discovered online. Spock hedges its bets that no one can resist checking and tweaking their own profile, so it’s begun charging for the privilege. In effect, Spock’s business model was to build a database and have people pay them to populate it. […]

    Once you provide data about yourself to a Web-based service or company, you may be relinquishing your control over it for good. Even the most enticing privacy policies may vanish into the ether when one online business gobbles up another.

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