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    New York Times: A Phonebook for the 21st Century

    The New York Times reports on new services that are seeking to replace the standard printed books that list individuals’ addresses and landline phone numbers:

    Inflection operates Archives.com, a family history site that gathers public records like those for births, deaths, marriages and divorces. Like Ancestry.com, it helps people build their family trees, a topic that is getting a lot more attention lately with genealogy series on PBS and NBC.

    On Thursday, it will introduce a second site, PeopleSmart.com, which mines public records as well as social networking profiles to build an online directory of people. […]

    An online phonebook that compiles information from across the Web, including cellphone numbers, e-mail addresses and social networking profiles, is bound to raise privacy red flags. […]

    On PeopleSmart.com, which has worked with ReputationDefender, people can manage their listings or opt out completely. The site does not list sensitive information even if it is public elsewhere, like religion or ethnicity, and does not include answers to the identification questions commonly asked by banks and credit card companies.

    It posts only social networking information that is already public and gets it from online social data providers like Rapleaf. Cellphone numbers show up only in reverse phone searches, not on name searches. The e-mail function relays e-mail addresses through the site without revealing the person’s full e-mail address.

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