September 6, 2007

Personal Reputation

Personal Reputation There was a recent New York Times article that covered a relatively new company called Rapleaf that aggregates publicly available and privately submitted data about individuals, mostly from social networks, and then resells that data in bulk to marketers to help them target advertising more effectively, supposedly to names they already have permission to mail.  I’m sure the company would think I butchered that description, but it’s close, anyway. While there are a lot of comments and posts flying around about the ethics of that data collection, I won’t focus on that here.  Publicly available data is publicly available data.  This isn’t a lot different than banks swapping your data to create a FICO score, Abacus swapping your purchase data to cataloggers, or InfoUSA compiling tax and DMV records. What I think is interesting is the notion of having a global online personal reputation, which, despite Rapleaf’s verbiage, isn’t exactly what they’re doing at scale just yet.  I have often wondered if such a thing would work, especially since Return Path has gotten big into the corporate reputation business through our Sender Score service that monitors companies’ email sending reputations. Here’s why I think it’s a good idea: […]