How does Zabasphere work?
September 23, 2008 6:56 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know how Zabasphere works?

They claim that, not only when someone searches for you on Zabasearch, but also "all over the Internet," that they will email you and tell you that someone searched for you. And, they take it one step further by providing information about the person who searched you! How is this even possible? What could they possibly know about the person searching you? I am afraid to sign up and give it a test run, as I am afraid that is how they are gathering information about searchers, you know?
posted by foxinthesnow to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think they can do exactly that. Here's my guess at what they could be doing:

You sign-up as Martin Smith.
Zaba creates a Google Adwords ad for "Martin Smith" for the minimum bid. This way they can control what comes up, in a sense. It will be the first sponsored listening.
They will also be able to see data on how often that term is searched for in the their adwords reports (at least that was possible the last time I used Adwords).
If someone clicks on the ad, they can get an IP address, which can be used to infer geographic location.
posted by justkevin at 7:32 PM on September 23, 2008

I think it works the same way as Here's an article that explains Ziggs:

"...there’s just no way that you can know about everyone that searches for your name on Google. Boy, it would be nice though, wouldn’t it? So, does Ziggs even come close to the claim? Almost. You see, Ziggs will create a profile for you and host it. If that profile makes its way into Google, then Ziggs can provide a few details on who landed on your profile."

To test this theory, a co-founder of Zabasphere is Robert Zakari. So, I googled his name. The second link landed me at his Zabasphere page.

That said, their own Privacy page links to an article on FindLaw entitled "Can We Stop Zabasearch -- and Similar Personal Information Search Engines?: When Data Democratization Verges on Privacy Invasion". That, to me, is a bit scary.

Read, too, their FAQ page. They are pretty caught up in "what we are doing is legal!" -- so much so, that I'd be afraid to even complete their Record Blocking form (which, by the way, is $20 if you send it electronically).
posted by Houstonian at 9:07 PM on September 23, 2008

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