International and Comparative Librarianship

DEDICATED TO PIONEERS   INCLUDING:
S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Saturday, January 14, 2017

You’ve probably never heard of this creepy genealogy site. But it knows a lot about you: Familytreenow.com --- The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com

There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.

Profiles on FamilyTreeNow include the age, birth month, family members, addresses and phone numbers for individuals in their system, if they have them. It also guesses at their “possible associates,” all on a publicly accessible, permalink-able page. It’s possible to opt out, but it’s not clear whether doing so actually removes you from their records or (more likely) simply hides your record so it’s no longer accessible to the public.

On the same shelf :

  • If you live in North America, there are lots of sites like this. For example, whitepages.com (whitepages.ca), peekyou.com, truthfinder.com, spokeo.com, etc.
  • Use Directories to Search the Invisible Web
    Here are just a few, samples:
    • The University of Michigan has put together OAIster, (pronounced "oyster") and encourages you to "find the pearls" on the Invisible Web. They have millions of records from more than 405 institutions as diverse as African Journals Online and the Library Network of Western Switzerland.
    • LookSmart's Find Articles.com lets you search print publications for articles; anything from popular magazines to scholarly journals. Be sure to check out their Furl tool to organize your Invisible Web search snippets.
    • The Library Spot is a collection of databases, online libraries, references, and other good info from the Invisible Web. Be sure to check out their "You Asked For It" section, where popular readers' questions are featured.
    • The US Government's official web portal is FirstGov.gov, an extremely deep (as in lots of content) site. You could spend hours here. It's interesting to note how much stuff you can get done online here as well, such as renew your driver's license, shop government auctions, and contact elected officials.
    • Search the vast holding of the UCLA Library online, including their special collections only found on the Invisible Web.
    • Check out Infoplease.com and its searchable Invisible Web databases. Results come from encyclopedias, almanacs, dictionaries, and other online resources only found on the Invisible Web.
    • The Central Intelligence Agency has the World Factbook, a searchable directory of flags of the world, reference maps, country profiles, and much, much more. Great for geography buffs or anyone who wants to learn more about their world.
    • University of Idaho has created this Repository of Primary Sources, which contains links to manuscripts, archives, rare books, and much more. Covers not only the United States, but countries all over the world.
    • Lund University Libraries maintains the Directory of Open Access Journals, a collection of searchable scientific and scholarly journals on the Invisible Web.
    • Looking for scientific information on the Invisible Web? Go to Scirus.com first. You can search either scholarly sources or Web sources or both.
    • Canada, ay? Then check out the Archival Records of Alberta. This is a web gateway to photographs, census records, and other archival records.
    • Want to find a plant that will survive overwatering, lack of sunlight, and general forgetfulness? You can probably find something in the USDA's Plants Databaseon the Invisible Web.
    • The Human Genome Database contains anything you would ever want to know..well, about the human genome on the Invisible Web, at least.

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