TOTAL SHARES 812

Klout and privacy

First, apologies to anyone suffering Klout burnout here – but sometimes a topic has more than just a simple viewpoint. Especially when that topic is something like online privacy. And that privacy has (potentially) been broken by Klout.

I was on Facebook today, and my friend Tonia Ries asked about Klout’s ability to make profiles, when users haven’t connected their details with the service. I pointed her to the response from Megan Berry, Klout’s marketing manager, where she says if we don’t want to be tracked, then to make our social feeds private.

Even though I feel having to make your social feeds private to stop any service from accessing it is commercial suicide, especially for a business whose primary custom is online, at least there was an option to stop Klout from grabbing your information.

At least, until Tonia pointed out the example of her son.

He isn’t on Twitter, and he’s not super active on Facebook. He hasn’t given Klout permission to access his account, and he has his Facebook privacy settings at private. Just like Megan advises.

And yet here he is on Klout, with a profile and score of 38. However, that’s not the issue. The bigger issue is this. As you can see from the image (which I’ve blurred to protect his identity), you can clearly see that his Facebook icon is a live one (i.e., not shaded out), which means people can visit his Klout profile and be taken to his very private Facebook profile by clicking the Facebook icon.

Klout Influence Report

So, a private Facebook profile with no access allowed to Klout is now on their system and, worse still, allowing any public visitor to Klout to be taken directly to Tonia’s son’s private Facebook account?

Doesn’t something smell incredibly rotten here?

When looking into the issue more, Tonia mentions that her son commented on her Facebook wall about something. Tonia’s account is public – so does that mean Klout has activated an account for Tonia’s son, based on her being an “influencer” of her own son? All from one single wall post?

Sorry, Klout, but if that’s the case, that’s bullshit, and you’re treading on very slippery ground.

If you’re going to activate accounts for people who have their feeds set to private, and justify it by saying, “But they spoke to someone who has a public account”, that’s crap. That’s like saying, “Well, we’re going to telemarket call your son’s private phone number because we overheard you asking for his new number on your public phone.”

Seriously, Klout?

So, a word of warning to everyone. Your friends and family, who have absolutely no interest in social media, may be getting hawked as an active contributor to the Klout userbase, whether they have a private account or not, simply through their interactions with you.

Something to keep in mind when hooking up your own information to something like Klout….

Updates:
~ Check out Tonia’s own take on the issue in this post at The Realtime Report.
~ Check out Brian Carter’s take on this post over at All Facebook.
~ Marian Heath from Facebook Safety has advised they are investigating Klout to make sure they’re complying with Facebook’s Privacy Terms.
~ Fernando Fonseca has posted instructions on how to be completely removed from Klout legally.
~ Jure Klepic has published a great resource on how to get completely disconnected from Klout.
~ Update: As of November 1st 2011, you can now delete your Klout account

TOTAL SHARES 812
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365 Comments on "Is Klout Using Our Family to Violate Our Privacy?"


Mit dem Bedürfnis nach mehr Einfluß in die Klout-Falle | Sensiblochamaeleon's Blog
1 year 4 months ago

[…] dannybrown legt die Verstöße gegen Datenschutzgesetze durch klout dar […]

Klout's failing algorithm and privacy policies
1 year 5 months ago

[…] of bankruptcy.” If you want more information about this privacy failure, you should know that Klout creates profiles with your accounts tagged even when you don’t ask for […]

DannyBrown
3 years 4 days ago

@mcahalane @MLInnovations Ya. @Klout is about as credible as a chocolate fire guard…

mcahalane
3 years 4 days ago

@DannyBrown @mlinnovations :) I wanted Michael to hear what you’ve said, because you make lots of sense

DannyBrown
3 years 4 days ago

@mcahalane @mlinnovations Haha, makes a pleasant change :)

Madison Macy
3 years 2 months ago

I am happy I didn’t registered on klout. I was about to do so. But finding these news have made me to reconsider. Thank you.

LizzHarmon
3 years 3 months ago

@IowaHawkeyeMeg Scary stuff, isn’t? Seems #Klout has lost it’s glow.

MyGOMOM
3 years 3 months ago

@centsiblelife That’s what infuriates me about all of this ~ I don’t have my FB connected to my Klout ~ but that’s so lame! Link to delete?

centsiblelife
3 years 3 months ago

@MyGOMOM go into profile settings all the way down to privacy, then scroll all the way down to opt out.

hchybinski
3 years 3 months ago

@MyGOMOM @centsiblelife I don’t have mine linked either

centsiblelife
3 years 3 months ago

@hchybinski @MyGOMOM unfortunately I think it could still have access to your info.

centsiblelife
3 years 3 months ago

@MyGOMOM @Hchybinski agreed!

hchybinski
3 years 3 months ago

@centsiblelife @mygomom oh I have no doubt…there’s lots of behind the scenes data gathering I think…from many sites

MyGOMOM
3 years 3 months ago

@centsiblelife @Hchybinski That’s what that article concerns me about, that even if I don’t link to personal FB, @Klout has access = wrong!

letters4lucas
3 years 3 months ago

@GalitBreen Scary, huh? @DannyBrown

xlmic
3 years 3 months ago

@MamaWantsThis wow… that felt good.

xlmic
3 years 3 months ago

@MamaWantsThis i am going to be a copycat…i don’t get it and don’t think I want to now. thx!

Josiejacob
3 years 3 months ago

@MamaWantsThis I don’t even know what Klout is, but it sounds very invasive.

MamasMonologues
3 years 3 months ago

@SaidKristin Thats scary.

SaidKristin
3 years 3 months ago

@MamasMonologues Yeah, a little too Big Brother for me. I don’t mind a public Twitter feed, but I keep my FB page private for a reason.

MamasMonologues
3 years 3 months ago

@SaidKristin So do I.

MamasMonologues
3 years 3 months ago

@mytimeasmom I just read that. I do keep my FB profile very private. Is there a benefit to keeping klout? @SJM_CookiesMom

mytimeasmom
3 years 3 months ago

@MamasMonologues Perks? @SJM_CookiesMom

MamasMonologues
3 years 3 months ago

@mytimeasmom True. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one though. @SJM_CookiesMom

SJM_CookiesMom
3 years 3 months ago

@MamasMonologues @mytimeasmom I’ve had one (lame) perk. I’ll be careful when my son starts wanting a social profile. Until then, meh.

coreenie_k
3 years 3 months ago

@OldTweener @letters4lucas @klout @dannybrown It sure is!!

alexcampbell11
3 years 3 months ago

@letters4lucas I’m really considering deleting mine too. I never cared much for it anyway but now with the pt loss I really don’t care.

letters4lucas
3 years 3 months ago

@alexcampbell11 It’s super easy, just go into your profile and settings.

NapTimeMomTog
3 years 3 months ago

@letters4lucas okay that is freaky. how do i delete it?

letters4lucas
3 years 3 months ago

@NapTimeMomTog oops that last tweet I sent was meant for you: It’s super easy, just go into your profile and settings.

NapTimeMomTog
3 years 3 months ago

@letters4lucas okay. i was looking but didn’t see it. lol. i am a little tired.

NapTimeMomTog
3 years 3 months ago

@letters4lucas oh i see it. thanks!

letters4lucas
3 years 3 months ago

@NapTimeMomTog Now that I don’t have an account anymore, it’s hard to tell you how I did it but it was really easy.

bellebeandog
3 years 3 months ago

@CarriBrown Just tweeted that – isn’t it awful?!?! #BoycottKlout

CarriBrown
3 years 3 months ago

@bellebeandog Yes! I signed up for it. Fine. But opt in everyone I talk to on Facebook? NOT COOL, @klout #BoycottKlout

bellebeandog
3 years 3 months ago

@nugglemama Reading that a child has a Klout score because he commented on his mom’s profile?!?! Frightening! #BoycottKlout

nugglemama
3 years 3 months ago

@bellebeandog I agree. #BoycottKlout

Shelley Pringle
3 years 4 months ago

I was just listening to FIR and they also mentioned stories about minors who inadvertently had Klout scores. If you don’t already subscribe, you can get the podcast here: http://www.forimmediaterelease.biz/. When I first read this post I hoped it was an isolated incident. Clearly, it’s not.

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@noelliebellie @klout Cheers Noelle – did you read this from @danieleagee ? http://t.co/aDyv8L4Q #pvsm

JulieLeask
3 years 4 months ago

@TweetSmarter Thanks for the links

TweetSmarter
3 years 4 months ago

@JulieLeask You’re welcome, Julie!

brittneyg
3 years 4 months ago

@SuburbanTurmoil thanks!

KatCaverly
3 years 4 months ago

You can now opt-out of Klout — thanks to the efforts of @DannyBrown @jureklepic alarming facts about Klout have been disseminated through the Twitterverse. I was ignored for 3 days, numerous emails and researching legal options but then Joe Fernandez emailed me and said that had built a self-service opt-out function within Klout.com.

Opting out immediately removes your profile from Klout.com but I am the Klout Chrome Twitter plugin still displays a score. I am timing how long ti takes to display no score at all!

JoAnnCandelaria
3 years 4 months ago

@KatCaverly@DannyBrown@jureklepic Glad to see an opt-out option, but I still believe the ethical thing is to have an opt-in policy. People shouldn’t have to opt-out of having their information shared to the world.

KatCaverly
3 years 4 months ago

If you have a public Twitter account you have opted in to share your information to the world, what I objected too was the gamification of this data and reducing my social activity to a number. @JoAnnCandelaria @DannyBrown @jureklepic

DannyBrown
3 years 3 months ago

@KatCaverly@PamMktgNut@tonia_ries Something you shouldn’t have to do if Klout had any sense of good business morals…

KatCaverly
3 years 3 months ago

now it’s on the Privacy Page? @DannyBrown @PamMktgNut @tonia_ries Just remember this: do a search query for “opt-out of Klout”

DannyBrown
3 years 3 months ago

@KatCaverly@PamMktgNut@tonia_ries See, this is complete BS from Klout. They’ve taken a very visible option to remove (Profile Setting page), and hid it in a link on their Privacy Page.

And how many users always read the Privacy Pages?

Way to go on undoing all your positive steps, Klout…

KatCaverly
3 years 3 months ago

@PamMktgNut use this link http://klout.com/corp/optout

PamMktgNut
3 years 3 months ago

@tonia_ries@KatCaverly I still can’t find it? I clicked on profile settings and I don’t have an option to delete account? I can’t find any link for “account settings”. They won’t respond to me via support. What are we suppose to do to delete our account?

tonia_ries
3 years 3 months ago

@KatCaverly@PamMktgNut don’t you love how they made this really easy to find? And it only takes 3 steps and a few weeks … ;-)

KatCaverly
3 years 3 months ago

@PamMktgNut so Klout moved the link to “Account settings” ?? You can also opt-out this way http://klout.com/corp/optout I found this by querying “opt-out of Klout”

jureklepic
3 years 3 months ago

@PamMktgNut@KatCaverly@JoAnnCandelaria@DannyBrown login going under account settings and scroll down to bottom you will see link delete my account …

PamMktgNut
3 years 3 months ago

@KatCaverly@JoAnnCandelaria@DannyBrown@jureklepic how do I delete my accounts? The option to delete my account does not appear in my profile settings?

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@JoAnnCandelaria@KatCaverly@jureklepic Completely agree – especially when it’s minors involved. But even with adults, the possibility of careers being affected unknowingly, because of a creation of something you don’t even know about, is far from ideal still.

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@KatCaverly@jureklepic Nice to see Klout listen to the feedback/criticism and offer this option. Shame it had to be under “duress”, but kudos for actually implementing it.

KatCaverly
3 years 4 months ago

@RababKhan yes I did, it was @dannybrown’s post that fired me up to take action! (Thanks Danny!)

RababKhan
3 years 4 months ago

@KatCaverly :) So are Klout now saying that this kind of tracking wont happen?

KatCaverly
3 years 4 months ago

@RababKhan no, what they are saying is that you can opt-out now, which is a start.

RababKhan
3 years 4 months ago

@KatCaverly Hm, true that. Curious to see how many will opt out.

FrugalJenn
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t see how Klout is automatically adding her son to have an account with Klout, and allowing anyone to connect to his facebook profile that is said to be “private”. I click on all my friends whom Klout says I influence with the “Invite person to klout” option, and not one of their accounts is clickable until they become a member. I’m not saying this lady is lying, but something is not correct here. I’m thinking he created an account on Klout, and I don’t buy this hocus pocus until proven otherwise.

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@FrugalJenn Jenn, there are plenty other examples of accounts being created without user creation in the first place (just check some of the comments here and on other blogs). Klout’s reticence to answer questions about their creation suggests it’s not @tonia_ries or her son that’s guilty of “hocus pocus”.

tonia_ries
3 years 4 months ago

@DannyBrown@FrugalJenn Jenn – clicking on his name opened a profile page on Thursday (when I wrote my post) and on Friday. @DannyBrown included a screen shot of that page in his post above. As of Saturday, I was no longer able to open his page, or that of any of the other people who had been scraped from Facebook. So they changed the way the platform worked over the weekend. That said: his name, avatar and Klout score still appears on my profile, in my “influencer network”. You can see examples of this everywhere on Klout — if you see a user in someone’s network that has their Facebook icon colored in blue, but their Klout icon in gray (not orange), it means that Klout found them on Facebook but they have not activated their Klout account.

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@tonia_ries@FrugalJenn There have also been some interesting posts by @jureklepic in the last week or so, re. Klout’s methods and aversion to answering concerns – worth reading, Jenn.

CraigAtAbussi
3 years 4 months ago

@SarahArrow I have not linked my Facebook account as that’s more for private / personal / non-business stuff, but looks like I shouldn’t !!

SarahArrow
3 years 4 months ago

@CraigAtAbussi I regret ever experimenting with Klout if it can disregard my friends and families privacy options :(

jureklepic
3 years 4 months ago

Danny look what i found out : I posted on FB and send to Mashable and few others:

A great act of deception by Klout ! To get profile removed Klout is requesting to send an email. They will reply back that your profile was removed. BUT GUESS what, they are still collecting your data and utilizing even once you request to be removed. USERS profile is “masked” and will not be visible if someone look for it on Klout.com but you can see the score from REMOVED user in Klout browser extension on twitter.com. KLOUT THIS IS ILIGAL! Shame on you!

mandomando
3 years 4 months ago

@erik_be si, toca abrir el paraguas y vigilar con lupa #Klout

BLOGBloke
3 years 4 months ago

@RichBecker Funny how everybody is up in arms about @Klout and yet @Google has been scraping us forever (well almost).

RichBecker
3 years 4 months ago

@BLOGBloke The difference is partially in how voluntary the secret sauce is, not meaning to imply that it makes it right.

TummyTuckCost
3 years 4 months ago

Very scary times when our privacy can be invaded like this.

jureklepic
3 years 4 months ago

There is to many comments to go over, just a WARNING: when you unlink your facebook or any other account on KLOUT make sure you revoke access in application itself as well. For instance go to facebook, account settings —> application —-> remove Klout and confirm, this is only way that’s Klout will not be able to access your Facebook account, same applies for LinkedIN.

You have possibility as well to unlink Twitter, go in your Twitter —> settings —> application —> find Klout and REVOKE ACCESS. So Klout will not be able to track your activities on Twitter anymore. You will still have profile on Klout but score will not rise or drop anymore.

Hope this help to everyone who want to stop Klout from tracking their activities.

jureklepic
3 years 4 months ago

I forgot to mention one things, go to your computer settings and remove all the cookies. Klout use cookies to improve the quality of their “service” , including for storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection, and tracking user trends. Klout also uses cookies in its advertising services ” Perks”.

DannyBrown
3 years 4 months ago

@jureklepic Cheers for the tips, Jure!