Have you ever looked through the phonebook and wondered just what this person’s house looks like or who lives in it?
Well, don’t fret my dears; one website has you covered. Spokeo.com is an online phonebook that takes stalking to a whole new level.
Spokeo.com began in 2006 and was created by a group of Stanford University graduates. The purpose of the website was to allow you to check your friend’s status without having to log onto multiple websites.
It wasn’t until 2008 when they redesigned the website to allow users to import contacts from their email address books. The information reflected friends’ updated blogs, video playlists, and photo albums.
In order to use the website, all you have to do is search someone’s name, email, phone number, username, or friends.
From there, you can find how much someones home is estimated to be, how big their property is, and who lives in the home.
Then, if you buy an account, you can find out who lives in their neighborhood, what social networking sites they use, hobbies, and much more information. Now I bet you are wondering, how is this legal?
In June 2010, the Center for Democracy and Technology filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Spokeo.com violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
They claimed that the site offered credit ratings without any of the controls mandated by the act. Additionally, they alleged that Spokeo.com engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Then in July 2010, a lawsuit was filed against Spokeo.com seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages for the alleged violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was dismissed on Feb. 2011.
So the next time you are deciding whether something should be on Facebook, think about where else it could end up after you post it.