I have been keeping an eye on the people search website spock for a while. It being part of the new wave of web 2.0 projects that is trying to tie down peoples online identities with there real life carbon based fat asses. Their goal is to index people from various source on the Internet including LinkedIn, XING, Myspace, Friendster and Wikipedia.
While they have said they are committed to the privacy of their users, I was surprised to receive an e-mail from them this morning, one of the first I have received since I signed up at their website. This is the body of the e-mail :
As one of Spock’s newest users, I wanted to let you know about a cool search on Spock.
You can find out who Spock users think should be the top results for fun searches like Arrested for Drunk Driving.
Log onto Spock and check it out!
The Spock Team
Now am I the only person that think it strange the one of the first communiques highlights such an invasion of privacy, drink driving while frowned upon is probably something that people would like to keep to them selves. While this search may be possible, for an emergent company like spock I would have thought they would stick with the warm and fuzzy functionality that is possible. A bit like the way bitTorrent is always sold as having legitimate applications (which it does, I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04 using it) the bulk of the applications would be considered illegitimate (That is an argument for the courts and the ISPs).
spock isn’t the only website getting in on the web 2.0 ability to connect with the real world. Another website to keep an eye on includes the sexual relationship database :
In an effort to better understand society’s interconnected nature, this database was created to serve as a repository for information regarding the sexual histories of individuals, across the world and throughout time.
which allows people to assign former sexual partners to any name they can find, though I am convinced that this is a hoax, though the company behind the website, world health optimization management or W.H.O.M. (?), only returns 4 hits on google… If it isn’t a hoax it will more than likely get spammed out of existence by warring teenagers making up who had sex with who (even though none of them are).
And finally polar rose, which I have covered before, that is developing facial image search technology so that individuals can be found all over the Internet. They however have been quite for a while and I’m still waiting to see the bulk of their work.