I have had a challenge with my RSS reader. Making things slow as molasses. So I have not really be reading to much. I decided to do some surfing around and likely will abandon readers all together except for maybe 20 core blogs. The rest I will do by surfing and searching.
Today I found this by surfing through TechCruhch. Jigsaw I quoted it extensively because it was so startling and relevant for the identity community to consider.
Jigsaw is a marketplace for contact information, and it is very efficient. It boasts detailed personal contact information for 2.5 million people, and 7,000 new people are added every day. If you want the name, title, email address, direct phone line and/or address of any executive of any company, there is a very good chance Jigsaw will already have it in its database and will sell it to you. And if you are a sales guy and have no ethical concerns about where you get your contact information, you probably already know all about Jigsaw.
Unlike competitors like Hoovers and InfoUSA, which gather company information by semi-legitimate means such as scouring SEC filings, cold calling companies and asking for information, and reviewing other public documents, Jigsaw simply pays people to upload other people’s contact information. Users are paid $1 for every contact they upload, and some users have uploaded information on tens of thousands of people. See the demo (and note the other demos on that page as well). Jigsaw is also self correcting, and incentivizes people to also correct bad contact information.
That’s right, the next time you hand out a business card to someone or otherwise divulge your contact information, you may be handing it out to the entire world.
Here’s how it works: Sign up and start downloading contact information. This includes name, title, company, address, email and direct phone line. For example, a quick search brought up all of this personal.
But wait, it gets much worse.
Is Jigsaw legal? Maybe in the U.S., although I’d love to see a class action case brought against them. Is it ethical? Absolutely not. Every Jigsaw employee and investor has dirty hands and they should be ashamed of themselves.
Like Plaxo, Jigsaw makes money while pushing costs to other people. In Plaxo’s case, its spam. In Jigsaw’s case, its making private contact information public. The problem here is that Jigsaw’s actions aren’t easily found out by people getting constant cold calls and emails – it’s very unlikely they’ll know that these people got this contact information at Jigsaw in the first place.
If they wanted to do this right, they’d set up a marketplace where individuals could choose to sell (or give away) their contact information. The owner of the data could set the price, and Jigsaw could take a cut. Would this model work? Perhaps not, but that just proves my point. The only reason Jigsaw does work is because they don’t have to bear the costs that they push to third parties – all of the people who are in their database.