Social networking puzzle
I don’t know too much about social networking so perhaps I’ve got the wrong end of the stick. But it’s a real puzzle: how can something that is so privacy invasive be so successful?
UpScoop works by matching everyone in your contact list against most popular social networking sites (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) to produce a report of which social network each of your contacts belong. I suppose people find this of value, given that they claim to have searched over 400 million profiles, but why people give away their webmail account for this is incomprehensible.
RapLeaf is an “online reputation lookup” service “which takes privacy very seriously. It is our number one priority.” At the same time, they have a wonderful notion about what consent is: “a person can be included in the system as a nonmember if searched by another user. Rapleaf may leave an appropriate rating to the nonmember as dictated by our reputation algorithm.” Thanks, that’s truly nice of you.
What does RapLeaf do with all this information? Make it available to their clients via TrustFuse. Clients include marketing companies and presidential candidates who provide email address lists to get richer and deeper information about people they want to target (spam?). RapLeaf states that, “Client may also use PII data to further append their database for marketing, fraud, and authentication purposes… Typically non-PII data is used for targeted advertising, improved offerings, and better services.”
Wonder if “fraud” is a Freudian slip, i.e. perpetuate fraud rather than prevent fraud?
This post has become long and convoluted. Unfortunately, that’s the only way to unravel the long and convoluted tale of this unholy trinity: three standalone services that work together based on a highly privacy invasive business model.
For me, it’s thanks but no thanks. I think I’ll let my disinterest in social networking continue for some more time.