Paying For Personal Info Online Not Likely To Get You Very Far

from the suckers-wanted dept

I’m pretty sure we’ve seen articles quite similar to this before, but the NY Times has sent a reporter out to test out one of those “find out anything about anyone” online services. As you might expect, they tried to find out some info on themselves, and while the writer appears to have spent plenty of money, it doesn’t look like he found out very much. Some of it was quite accurate, but it was mixed in with so much false data that you would probably have to already know him (or be him) to know which was true and which was false. Also, it seems likely that much of the info could be figured out from other sources for free. The best part was the “background check” the site he used offered for $45. That told him the names of (possibly, if they got it right) a few of his neighbors, and that his wife and his daughter were actually the same person. So, for those of you worried about others looking you up and digging up your private info, rest assured that the amount of data they dig up will probably just as misleading as it is revealing.

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Comments on “Paying For Personal Info Online Not Likely To Get You Very Far”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

Sadly, it is not funny.
It’s liable if its erroneous and in print.
It can seriously affect employment, credit & security of financial & personal records as well as giving tools to people that probably shouldn’t have access to information on me for a measly 45 bucks.

NOBODY (user link) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

I think most employers and creditors would know better than to go to a $45 “get information on anyone” service.

I think you would be alarmed at how much of our personal information is exposed. Not to mention the draconian pseudo Stalinist methods of data mining prescribed in the Patriot act.

There are serious threats to our privacy and security out there. This isn’t one of them.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

[B]I think most employers and creditors would know better than to go to a $45 “get information on anyone” service.[/B]

You have a much higher opinion of employers than I do my friend. I believe MANY of them will not only happily pay these services, but will be thrilled because its such a “savings” over the traditional checks they did before. None of them will ever be aware (or even care) if the info supplied is inaccurate. These people don’t surf and they don’t read, they don’t see these stories and they don’t really care.

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