I am a curious person by nature, so I track myself online every so often just to see how easy it is to find me. It is actually quite scary how easy it is, especially if you live in a small town. Sites like Instant Checkmate are quite accommodating; they provide an address along with a Google image, and map to the person’s home.
When I did the search today, it didn’t matter if I used my married name or maiden, PeepYou still found me. It could be because my first name is not very common. I did notice that it had me living in two places in Iowa. I have lived lots of different places, several not listed, but never in the state of Iowa. That bothers me, a lot… Google, on the other hand, didn’t have very much information on me using my married name, and some fairly old work information with my maiden name. The only thing Google Alerts had listed were a few comments I have made on other student’s blogs, a board agenda for an out-of-state travel request, and LinkedIn. There was one more, but that is definitely not me! Fortunately, the person does not even closely resemble me, so I am not too worried about a case of mistaken identity. One thing I did notice that is a bit different is you can now do a reverse lookup and track someone using email addresses.
Maybe it is just me, but I find the whole notion rather unsettling. If I felt so inclined to spend money, I would actually pay for some of the reports just to see what these reports have to say about me. Overall, I just find it quite disturbing; no wonder people think they are being watched!
I did run the digital foot print app. It placed a cute green foot with a rapidly moving counter on my screen. Based on my little green foot, based on a conservative estimate when I started this post, my footprint is size 313,430,327,304-bytes. That is just for this year alone.
Delmen, N. (2011). Maldives 00147foot print on earth [Photograph]. Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maldives_00147_foot_print_on_earth.jpg