Part of me would like to get hysterical over the news that a new search engine wants to index the names of every single person on the planet. The idea that anyone can locate and learn about me at the push of a button freaks me out.

Wait a minute. If you’re reading this, you just did.

What is the reasoning for making every person on the planet with a name available for search on the Internet? Who cares?

With 7 million dollars in startup cash, it would appear there are a lot of people with money to blow on something this illogical. Search engine revs up to look for billions of names describes how Spock.com wants to “track down the names of the world’s six billion people”.

If you visit their site, which is still in BETA, it asks if you’re over 13. What the heck for? The article says,

The founders of Spock.com, which has been under development since 2006 in Redwood City, California, hope the website will eventually provide a search result for everyone in the world.

So. If your children are in the search engine, only those over 13 can find them?

That can’t be right.

It doesn’t say anything about minors, or laws in all the countries, or parental rights over information. It says, “everyone in the world”. Is that your baby they want? What about people who are employed as secret agents? In Witness Protection programs? In jail? Are monks? Who are terrorists? What happens when someone dies?

This can’t be right.

It says “everyone in the world.

Of course, the information can be removed on your request. I laughed out loud when the article said the search engine could filter out information that would possibly injure the web site’s credibility.

The web site’s credibility.

The article continues …

To index individuals, Spock.com scours through social networking websites such as MySpace, Friendster and Bebo.

But it also allows web surfers to add information about individuals to help Spock.com compile full profiles.

Has someone lost their mind? Sure, for those who WANT to be found, in a community they CHOSE to belong to, they put up their own web site they could control. When did this automatically mean they wanted to be added to search engines?

This is what drives me bananas. Somewhere along the line we seem to have made an unspoken agreement that we want our privacy or basic right of choices for ourselves thrown out the window and it’s perfectly fine for any Internet web site to do whatever they want because they found us.

Bits and pieces of us are leaking all over the Internet. Identities are stolen, and the problem is getting worse. Enormous numbers of people post naked pictures of themselves. I mean, have you LOOKED lately at what’s out there? (Oh stop!) And it’s not just adult oriented sites. Try Flicker and YouTube.

Hey, I’d even do it if my relatives were all blind, I had no friends who would laugh at me, I never planned to run for office and decided to never have any kids. Oh yeah, for those who want to work for the Government or teach in schools, a criminal background check and quick search for you on the Internet will certainly kill your chances if you strut your stuff in all your glory (yes, I know you’re absolutely gorgeous) or, your profile has never been tampered with and you’re perfect.

The thing is, you gave permission (we hope) to show it off.

Did you know there are no laws in the US that say third party sites can’t use the information you put up about yourself? So, have at it.

Spock.com claims to have tons of money for this venture and all I can think of are the millions of people who they plan on indexing who are starving, homeless, jobless, living in refugee camps, abused…there’s so much more to those names and why, oh why, does this not matter?

Like I said, so much of me wants to get wound up and tight fisted-like furious at the people who somehow think it’s okay to put the names of every human being in a search engine. Not only will it index names, but you can add pictures and create profiles.

As if nobody else thought of doing that yet on the Internet. This isn’t even an original idea. There are already names search engines on the Internet. This one, however, claims to look under every rock to find “everyone in the world”.

Where is the sense of all this?

I own several web sites, a forums and a blog. I’ve been online since 1995, blabbing away. My high school classmates have no idea. My best friend emails me all the time, asking how I am, and I keep telling her that if she misses me or worries, I’M ON THE INTERNET. My neighbors could care less who I am or what I do online. My parents, who are both very good with computers, are too busy to care what I’m doing online. They also believe in not interfering.

In other words, I’ve been here for awhile and really, nobody gives a damn.

I wish the money tossed to these search engines was going to FEED, PROTECT and CARE for people, not search for their names.

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cre8pc

Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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