We know who you are…

From [New York Times: Technology]: Some Search Results Hit Too Close to Home. “With Phonebook, Internet users can type a phone number into the Google search box and the name and address of the person to whom it belongs will appear. By Amy Harmon.”

I received an alarmist email about this from a relative last week. Maybe I’m just too close to the technology, but I am not alarmed. I’ve been doing this for over ten years, first with CD-based databases of names and addresses, for marketing and mailing projects, and then online. Reverse telephone lookup has always been possible, even if you have to read the phonebook to get there. This is what “public information” means – who you are, where you live, your phone number, your interactions with town hall, your statement at public meetings, quotes in the newspaper – these are all searchable.

Is there a worry here that hasn’t been here all along?

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.