Plaxo paranoia

Plaxo paranoia
: I’m not a paranoid guy but I never respond to a Plaxo contact-updating request because I just don’t know enough about the company. Jason Calacanis reports that this came up at PCForum; Plaxo responded to his questions on their business model in his comments. I still don’t trust it.

  • Jeff – I understand your concerns completely. I resisted Plaxo for the longest time. Finally, I decided to give it a try. As I usually do, I wrote about the tool on my blog and one of my readers posted a comment raising the same concerns you have.
    To my surprise and delight, Plaxo’s Privacy Officer posted a clear and well-worded response addressing concerns about privacy and security. I subsequently resposted it to make it easier to find. Here’s a link:
    Thanks Jeff. BuzzMachine rocks!

  • brett

    Intrusion isn’t the problem. The problem is that you’re giving up control over your contact data. For instance, if you’re in someone’s Plaxo data, you do not have the right to remove yourself or to make that data unavailable to the public. The reason for this, according to Plaxo, is that the data belongs to the Plaxo accountholder, not you. I work in a large law firm, and we have been instructed to avoid Plaxo at all costs. I am informed that many large organizations have the same policy.

  • Brett – sorry, but I don’t really see the difference between your data being in someone’s Plaxo account, their Hotmail account, their AOL account, or any other service that stores contact information for their subscribers.
    How is Plaxo different? You’re faced with the same recourse you always have once someone has your contact information – you politely ask them to remove it.
    My name and contact information are in my alumni directory, the phone book, the public rolls for voter registration, my synagogue’s member directory, and a slew of other places. I think it’s arguable that anyone has very much control over their contact information unless they choose to be anonymous, which is increasingly difficult in the world in which we live.

  • Brett,
    Just to be clear, the information someone maintains within their address book is not public. If you were a member, no one else would be able to see or access the information you maintain within your address besides yourself.
    Furthermore, as for your own information included on our Plaxo Cards, Plaxo gives you control over who you give this information out to. Members can make certain information about themselves public or keep their information completely private. If their information is private, the member controls exactly who they share their contact information with by manually sending their information to another person.
    If the member sends their information to another Plaxo member, they establish a connection to that other Plaxo member. From that point on or until the initiating member breaks the link, anytime the member updates their information, the other Plaxo member is automatically notified of the update and automatically receives the update. There is no need to send Update Requests, no need for manual entry, and your information is no longer out of date.
    Stacy Martin
    Plaxo Privacy Officer
    smartin @t

  • Have you guys considered Frexo? It’s like Glaxo, but more privacy and zoomier too.

  • bob

    Once, while discussing some of the less enjoyable aspects of a tech school with a friend at Starbucks, a well-dressed man with a professional smile came to our table.
    “Hi, I work for XXX, and I’m sorry but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation.” .. (A few professional sentences followed.) “If you ever have any questions, you can reach me here.”
    He put a card on the table and walked away. Media Relations.
    Uncomfortable silence followed. Someone at the counter ordered something.
    It was a true “I’m your friendly neighborhood enforcer” moment.
    I still watch for that guy when I’m at Starbucks.