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As Influence Grows, So Do Privacy Challenges


November 16, 2011

A company that ranks users' online influence using their social media activity is facing criticism for creating "shadow profiles" of non-users without permission, reports the Financial Post. Klout searches publicly available information on the Internet to build its rankings--and in some cases inadvertently created profiles for minors. While some are criticizing the company, others say it is using the same practice as many other online companies: scour the Web for data and aggregate it. "They may not be creating a profile for me or assigning me a Klout rank, but it fundamentally amounts to the same thing," says GigaOm's Mathew Ingram. Klout's CEO says the company no longer automatically creates profiles and has made it easy for people to opt out of the service.  
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