Terrible privacy: Rapleaf

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Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:20 pm

Terrible privacy: Rapleaf

Post by AnonymousSpecial » Sat May 24, 2008 8:21 pm

There is a site called Rapleaf which crawls the web and creates a profile about you. All you need to do is enter any email address on their site and it tells you all the social networks that they are a member of.

Try it here, and I recommend giving it a bad rating if you think it's invading your privacy.


Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:34 am

Another wannabe

Post by woova » Sun May 25, 2008 7:06 pm

Another wannabe "reputation-n-feedback" site. Several other sites have undertaken similar efforts, but each has failed to gain traction. One which had become marginally successful (i.e. widely-adopted, well known) intended to incorporate feedback ratings imported from eBay.com, iOffer.com, and other trading sites... but eBay "slapped them down" by forbidding them to scrape (or otherwise import) the ebay data. At the time, I was a bit chagrined to note eBay's attitude -- "the data belongs to eBay" (in other words, they insist that, as an eBay user, you don't own your "ebay feedback rating").

Invading my privacy by enabling someone to search for my email address(es)? No, they "find and report back" only information they've gleaned by scraping PUBLICLY-ACCESSIBLE web pages on various sites.

I expect the more significant (and probable) "privacy" issue involves seekers (people placing inquiries via the site). Ah, social engineering at its finest...

Curious rubberneckers are unlikely to search for
monkeyshite_978df67_gobbletygook @ hotmail.com
to see if anyone has ever used that username at hotmail. No, instead, they are likely to search (inquire) regarding "personally significant" email addresses. Haha -- although relative few people would land on a new site and "sign up for our newsletter" or whatever, curiosity will lead them to type in their (current, valid, spammable) email address when visiting this RAPEflea site. Oh, and while we're at it let's check mom's email address too... and my work email address... and the email address of my fourth ex-wife, and...

...so, regardless whether the "build an internet-wide reputation repository based on email addresses" initiative succeeds or fails, RAPEflea gets to collect data (and build person-centric profiles, by linking various seeker--target email addresses). Free... as in SPAM! and popular, like the graveyard ~~ everyone is dying to get in!

Yeah, hurry and register, to "claim ownership" of the reputation account for your email address...

For giggles, using one of my domains which is setup with a "catchall" email inbox, I just created and typed in a couple single-use email addresses. Seeker requests notification of the search results to "rapeleafseeker@" and the target email for the search is rapeleafvictim@. I'm curious to see how much spam these addresses will receive. Right off the bat, I'm expecting at least one uninvited email, titled "Someone is looking for you!" ala those ANNOYING mailings from ClassMates.com

So, am I just skeptical, or am I consumed by cynicism? I wish them well in their professed effort to create an eAddress -based reputation system, and I expect it may be enlightening, down the road, to check for "bad reports" spanning numerous email accounts hailing from a given domain... but I certainly won't be an early adopter, and I'm not favorably impressed by their displayed list of (similarly no-name, wannabe) "partner" sites. (Vacapedia? Hawhaw. Who sez all the "good" domain names have already been taken?)

Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:34 am

yep, spamaroo...

Post by woova » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:34 pm

just a followup post to mention that inquiring about a random
"completely made up, newly invented, never previously used"
email address @ one of my domains did trigger a "someone is researching you" email.

Seems like rapleaf has been using this spammish tactic for quite a while.
see: http://www.lisjobs.com/liminal/2007/09/walking-line.html

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