Stalker – what a creepy word that is. If you check a Thesaurus you might find the definition “to creep up on” under its definition. I don’t know how being stalked feels but I’m sure it’s right up there among the worst experiences you’ll go through in life. Takes a certain kind of deranged personality to stalk someone doesn’t it? Maybe not – apparently it’s the new, hot trend on the Intertubes and I even stalked myself!
You want to think you have a certain level of privacy online. If you’ve been a smart person and not shared your info you should be safe, right? Not so much. Nothing is secret anymore. All your info can be spidered together from sites like Facebook, MySpace, White Pages, newsgroups, blogs, comments – you name it.
This probably isn’t a new concept but it sure hit me head on yesterday when I put my own info into Pipl‘s query form. Up came all sorts of info including a picture! (My profile picture on several sites). Some info was obviously wrong and pieced together erroneously, like my age, but the creepy thing was just how much it got right.
This site is creeping info from all sorts of sources from the obvious mentioned above to your Amazon profile, LinkedIn page, registered domain names and public records. None of this is private information but it would take someone time and determination to create this amazing stalker profile on somebody by hand. The kind of determination you just assume the average person wouldn’t bother with.
Once you get over the shock of all the information out there you realize Pipl’s goal isn’t just to stalk you but to offer you services to protect your info. Seems kinda sly to me. Well placed links to services like ReputationDefender.com offer a chance to safeguard some of your personal details and other sponsored links go directly to some of the sources Pipl uses to get all these juicy details on you and then tries to peddle their premium memberships on you so you can get even more information.
I have a problem with this. I don’t think the average person out there should be able to assemble this kind of profile on someone with a few steps on a website. In fact I bet this will cause quite an uproar as it goes more mainstream and we’ll probably see some lawsuits coming – GOOD!
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go get a couple of mean watchdogs, upgrade my alarm system, buy a gun and enough barbed wire to surround my house.