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RapLeaf and the Data Miners

An intresting article landed above my gmail inbox this morning. At Rapleaf, your personals are public. Definatly something that caught my attention, just because in a world of privacy statements and security systems inplemented into the internet it seems a little off skelter.

RAPLEAF

So I gave it a go. It took my email address and told me to come back in an hour. The system would then scan the internet for where my email would appear – myspace, facebook, flickr and anything else it wants to scan. If my email address appears in those, then it reports back to me where that address appears online.

I tried it with John’s as well. It only showed up his amazon wishlist. But something like that – a personal site aggregator – is an intresting idea. Basically scanning websites for your personal data. I do wonder how this all ads up…

  • How do the privacy statements for all these sites they retrieve data from fit in with somebody taking and displaying it for all to see?
  • Is that fact that our data is available to be scanned in breach of their privacy agreements we accepted?
  • Will these companies secure our data further to stop this kind of aggregation?
  • Is it their data to protect or ours?
  • Does that mean that we can be found just by our email address – if so how much of our identity does that simple email carry?
  • Where does that leave us, and the ten of thousands of bots that have our email addresses for spam?

It may seem a little alarmist. But the internet just became a little smaller and a little more unsecure.

I guess the last question is:
What year will the robots take over the world?

james
2 Comments
  • I know where you live.

    September 4, 2007 at 4:10 am
  • The first article answers a lot of your questions about PP breaches.

    The only thing they CAN do is market to you! It’s the only real value in such data. The ‘real’ badies can’t do much with your email address, and DOB. You can’t walk up to an Australian embassy and say ‘Give me a passport, I have a facebook account!’ I have enough trouble getting 100 points and I AM me!

    The only information they have of you is what you enter into the internet. Unless your careless or totally unresistant to marketing, there isn’t a problem at all.

    The internet is a useful tool/medium, it isn’t life, and never will be… for me at least.

    September 4, 2007 at 4:33 am