Spock People Search Raises Concerns

A recent post on the SEOmoz blog by Jane Copland along with a long list of reader’s comments raises some concerns about Spock.com free people search engine.

Some of the concerns raised include:

1. Spock allows anyone to create and edit your personal information on the site, which raises numerous privacy concerns as well as concerns about the reasons people may have for editing your information on the site.

2. Editing or deleting information added about you does not guarantee that the changes will be made on Spock.com.

3. If you aren’t informed that a profile or personal information has been added about you on the site, you might not discover the information until it shows up in a search engine query.

4. Even when your Spock profile is claimed by you, you still have little control over the information published on it. You can’t personally get rid of any information and you have to request that the page be removed by the Spock search.

5. Turning a people search and social networking site like Spock.com into a wiki format where anyone can add and edit a profile on you allows people with a malicious intent to hijack your online identity and reputation.

6. The Spock people search allows users to flag inaccurate information. However, if you don’t know that you are in their search database, there is no way to handle the information that has been published about you on the site.

The post goes on to observe that online people search tools shouldn’t compromise privacy and allow for a misuse of personal information, by allowing complete strangers or vindictive people to edit personal information about people. People search sites like Spock should make it easier for people to control what information is published online with their names.

In addition, there have been numerous reader responses since the Spock post was published on May 14th that are critical of Spocks privacy and information editing tools.

Source: SEOmoz.com