I went to my friend Aleah's birthday over the weekend, and we went to a bar at downtown Los Angeles. After catching up with everyone, I was able to hit a conversation with the table next to ours, and surprisingly it was owner of Spokeo Harrison Tang. We've decided to go have dinner before I go to TED, have some discussions on what we are both working on.
Spokeo is about people search, finding out about somebody through social networks and shopping sites, it's a very powerful tool for both finding out about other people as well as what networks you are currently on. Most of the information are kind of out dated and inaccurate, but its a pretty neat tool. For example, I havn't logged into my myspace page for over a year, and I've moved out of New York since 2006, but I am still listed in New York over myspace page, I've also did some other searches on my friends and their current location all seem to be mismatched.
Just from a user's perspective, it seems Spokeo uses some ranking system to list the data, information from certain sites weights more than others, with whitepages and myspace being on top. Being part of certain website get you into certain activities, I believe they have my mom's account from amazon and was able to say she enjoy shopping because of that. My amazon account isnt really using the same email and it doesn't really say I enjoy shopping lol.
There are a lot of credit score concerns over the news, and Harrison specifically mentioned those data are not to be used for reference, I think it would be a better idea if he just explains how his estimated score was calculated, this way it provides more transparency to some unanswered questions. But it can be a double edge sword, because I think neighborhood's income have a weight in his credit score estimation.
It was a good experience to chat with him, and I am sure we can help each other in the future.