general posted by


Out to dinner the other night where my mate Tom (for want of a better name) tells me a rather interesting story. Seems he received an email from a friend of his a while back asking him to enter his details into that Plaxo contact thing. Since it was a mate he duly input name, address and date of birth. A couple of months later he receives an email from said friend wishing him happy wedding anniversary. Eh, thinks Tom, how does he know, I’ve never told him. Ah says friend, Plaxo told me.

So it appears that Plaxo has the ability to go off and scour the world for your personal details (marriage records for instance?) and distribute them to people without your knowing or agreeing. I find that sinister and underhand, and wonder if it isn’t a touch illegal in the UK under the Data Protection Act?

Anyway you have been warned.

Update: Hmm…sorry but this story appears to be totally bogus. My unreserved apologies to Plaxo for an honest mistake. See comments for more details.

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general posted by


I received an email message yesterday which was generated by a bit of technology called Plaxo Contacts. The free software is designed to automatically update your email contact and address book lists and works with Outlook Express or Outlook.

From a Wired article: Here’s how it works: A Plaxo user sends plain-text e-mails to friends and colleagues requesting contact information updates. Recipients can reply to the request by updating their info in the template provided or by e-mailing free-form text, which Plaxo parses using natural language processing technology.

It looks interesting, but I’m not sure just how many people will really want to hand over all their contact details just because they’re asked to by a fancy graphical interface.

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