Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had an article (subscription required) with the disconcerting title "New Sites Make It Easier to Spy On Your Friends." The author points to free websites that make it easy to find information about anyone on the web. The websites include Spokeo.com , a search site that lets users see what their friends are doing on other Web sites; ZabaSearch.com for public records (including criminal history and birthdates); Spock.com for finding up personal pages, such as social-networking profiles; Zillow.com for real estate valuation (it estimates the value of people's homes by looking at other home sales in the area); and Jigsaw.com where people can share information from business cards they've collected.
The article also tells how to keep your information private on some of the big websites like Amazon and Flickr.
Is it just a coincidence that the two people interviewed for the article who talk about how they found surprising/embarrassing information information are both librarians?