What do you get when you combine leading people search technology and the personal data of 50 million+ users? A REALLY, REALLY, BAD idea called mylife.com — a rebranded version of reunion.com profiles linked to personal data from wink.com.
Why should you care? Your reunion.com profile information is now property of the largest online privacy data reseller. That’s right, the company holding your mylife profile is the same company that can sells personal information about the value of your home, your credit history and more (including satellite photos)!
They collect your personal data
A mylife.com profile (formerly reunion.com profile) includes all the elements of your reunion.com profile AND MORE: name, address, email addresses, high school, year graduated, biggest influence, can’t live without, could live without, hopes & dreams, favorite quote, sense of humor, 20+ personal characteristics, personality type, favorite movies, favorite music, favorite books, favorite tv shows, favorite travel spots, favorite sports, favorite hobbies, Facebook connections, MySpace connections, LinkedIn connections and your personal photo.
They sell your personal data
Wink.com (the same company) sells personal data including: a people search report for $1.95 that includes full name, address, phone number, age, date of birth and possible relationships; a $19.95 monthly membership with unlimited access to people search reports plus property information, death records, marriage records, divorce records and reverse phone lookup; and a $39.95 background report with all other information plus, aliases & maiden names, birth date, address history, property ownership information, relatives & neighbors and ‘much more”!
They own your personal data
Privacy concerns about the merger of reunion.com and wink.com into mylife are well founded. According to their user agreement, “you are licensing to MyLife.com and our third party service providers any ‘content’ you provide through or to MyLife.com and the service they offer. MyLife.com may modify, display, distribute and create new material using such content on MyLife.com’s Sites for the promotion and marketing of our services and the operation of our system.”
MyLife claims to meet “a critical market need left unmet by Google and other people search options”. That need? The ability to conveniently invade people’s of privacy for a fee.
“General search engines… do not access the offline databases you have to check when conducting a thorough search,” according to a Mylife.com’s press statement. “Existing people search sites have limited reach or depth of information and don’t look across the boundaries of proprietary social networks.” For $60 per year, or $36 per quarter, mylife.com subscribers (including cost-conscious thieves and stalkers-in-training) can view expanded personal profiles on individuals and earn ‘use it or lose it’ credits toward purchasing additional personal data.
You don’t have to support it
What can do? 1) Delete your mylife,com (former reunion.com) profile!; 2) tell individuals on your LinkedIn and Facebook networks to do the same; 3) Twitter about it; 4) add a comment to this blog letting everyone know you did; and finally, 5) celebrate the responsiveness of Facebook on privacy issues!
Doing any or all of the above sends mylife.com the same message popularized in the words of Billy Joel’s namesake song: “I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life.
“Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.”
Credits: Cartoon courtesy of the privacy commissioner of Canada.