Inflection now has a second site, PeopleSmart.com, which mines public records as well as social networking profiles in order to build an online directory of people. An online phonebook that compiles information from across the Web, including cellphone numbers, e-mail addresses and social networking profiles, is bound to raise privacy red flags.
Inflection’s founders, Brian and Matthew Monahan, state, “What we think we’re doing is actually providing more security, more privacy and much more comprehensiveness to the category.”
On PeopleSmart.com, people can manage their listings or opt out completely. The site does not list sensitive information even if it is public elsewhere, like religion or ethnicity, and does not include answers to the identification questions commonly asked by banks and credit card companies.
PeopleSmart.com posts only social networking information that is already public and gets it from online social data providers like Rapleaf. Cellphone numbers show up only in reverse phone searches, not on name searches. The e-mail function relays e-mail addresses through the site without revealing the person’s full e-mail address.
PeopleSmart claims that the company does not reveal sensitive personal information. In fact, unlike most search engines, PeopleSmart does not reveal email addresses. However, you can use the company's services to send email messages to others without seeing their email addresses or revealing your own. Stealing someone else's identity is almost impossible with PeopleSmart, unlike several other web sites.
One more feature could come in handy: Inflection will track down nondigitized records, such as an old birth certificate or divorce filing, for $20. The company sends people to courthouses to find it, copy it and send it. The average turnaround time is 38 hours, the company says.
You can even remove your own personal information from PeopleSmart.com if you start at http://www.peoplesmart.com/?_act=optout
PeopleSmart.com is not cluttered with banner ads. Instead, after a seven-day free trial, people must pay either $2.95 a month for a 12-month membership (a total commitment of $35.40 per year) or $7.95 for a one-month membership. Certain reports, like reverse cellphone look-ups, cost extra.
You can learn more at http://www.peoplesmart.com