Klout – don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it – if you’re on social media it has probably heard of you.
Over the past few weeks, several reports have surfaced which indicate Klout was creating “shadow profiles” of non-users, without their permission, based on publicly accessible online information.
In some cases, Klout’s algorithms would scour the Web for new users, and wound up creating profiles for minors.
In a post last week, GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram posed the question: “Is Klout crossing the line when it comes to privacy?”
Klout was accused of abusing privacy when a mother checked her Klout account to find that her children (in their early teens) had been added to Klout even though they had not signed up to the service.
Considering this Klout is intended to be (to a degree) a ‘reputation’ service, this isn’t the way you would expect the site to operate.
And there’s more. Under the headline “Lies, Damned Lies and Klout Lies” Hollis Tibbetts writes:
This issue I have with this is the complete lack of honesty and transparency coming from Klout. At almost every juncture, Klout chooses obfuscation and dishonesty, rather than transparency and good citizenship. A constrant stream of PR-speak, half-truths and misdirection.
I’ve never been quite convinced about Klout. Now I’m pretty sure I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I’d delete my profile, but it appears I can’t.
Here’s what one website (Social Media Today) has published on the subject recently.