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Spokeo Fined $800K By FTC For Marketing Its Services To Employers 81

Posted by Soulskill
from the ftc-wearing-the-daddypants-today dept.
nonprofiteer writes "Spokeo was one of the first public-facing person-profiling companies to attract the ire of those profiled. Taglined 'not your grandmother's phonebook,' it offers up profiles pulled from public records, social networking sites, etc, including your address, worth of your home, who's in your family, your estimated wealth, your hobbies and interests, and more. People freaked out when they first discovered it. Apparently, the company was selling reports to employers, but not following principles set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Federal Trade Commission is fining them $800,000. FTC also chastises them for writing fake positive reviews around the Web."
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Spokeo Fined $800K By FTC For Marketing Its Services To Employers

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  • I am safe. (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:50PM (#40299951)

    I typed in my own name. They had nothing on me. They found a few other people of the same name, but they were clearly not me.

    Whew.

  • Re:I am safe. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:21PM (#40300341) Homepage

    They found me. They found the address I lived at for a few months, but not the one I've been at for a few years. My sister's name is right, but she's apparently 40 years older than she really is, and exists in five different places at once. My father's name is "Father", and my mother's name is "Mother". They're male and female, respectively.

    I'm unimpressed.

    Several years ago, I told a friend on IRC that I could track him down in real life. He didn't believe me. I went through our chat logs, found his first and last real names, and the city he lived in. I then used a plain old phone book (you know, like grandma has) to call his potential family members. I eventually got hold of his mother's catering company, and she passed on a greeting for me. My information, discovered through plain old communication, was more accurate than what this thing has.

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.

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