The answer is really really scary. Rapleaf knew of Social Networking sites I was not aware I had joined. Rapleaf also linked my true identity with my false one… What does this mean? Well I have a few e-mail addresses I use to try out new things but by using them too often I might once even use one of those addresses with my real name. Here is one example from one of my e-mail addresses:
Rapleaf knew that I was I member at Plaxo (had forgotten this one). LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook, Hi5 (don’t use this one), Myspace (different name, different age as Myspace asks you to sign up to see certain profiles..), Ringo (also did not know I was a member there – just requested my password so I could close my account).
It frightens me to see that companies have all this access and bundle the information and also sell it on to other companies. The first thing I did was to start the annoyingly long and complicated opt out process
An individual may request information taken down for a given email address by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional, individuals can elect to have their information opted-out from Rapleaf’s database by following these steps:
1. Email email@example.com from the email address requesting to opt-out. Rapleaf will then email back an opt-out form to confirm the email address.
2. Print out this customized opt-out form, fill it out, and mail it to the following postal address:
Attn: Opt-Out Request
657 Mission Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94105
Rapleaf will then quickly follow up with a confirmation email. All relevant information pertaining to this opted-out email address will also be removed.
What is your take on this? Is it legal for them to do this?
Update: Also see this blog entry: Some more Rapleaf concern