Testing People Search Engines

Dick Eastman have tested some famous people finders:

"I recently went to ZabaSearch.com and looked for free information available about myself. I supplied my first and last names and my state of residence. Within two or three seconds, ZabaSearch.com provided basic information about several people with the same names as my own who also live in this state. There was a wide variety of middle initials, however. Some of the listings did show date of birth but many did not. One of the records was for me but I suspect that most other people would have a hard time determining which record was mine."

WhoWhere.com is a service of Lycos. I was rather unimpressed with this service. It did find me (and many others with the same name) but offered little information free of charge. The sites advertising really pushes its extra-cost services. It is worth a try at http://www.whowhere.com.

USA People Search looks a lot like Yahoo People Search although the search results returned rather different information. This web site found me but displayed several incorrect facts, even claiming that I was related to someone I have never heard of.
Dick notes that all of information about people is gathered from publicly available state and local databases, and is perfectly legal. Anyway, beyond the loss of privacy, consumers can be harmed by sloppy information-gathering practices, such as being wrongly identified as a criminal in a background check. Our basic life details are an open book for anyone with smarts and a connection to the Internet.

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