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Klout Is Having A Bad Month: Privacy and Duplicate Accounts

Boy, is Klout having a time of it. Not only are users profoundly unhappy with Klout’s new algorithm change, but other issues seem to be popping up with the popular “influence” rating service.

The Real Time Report wrote this week about the fact that Klout is apparently creating duplicate accounts for people. For instance, if you’ve created a Klout account and linked your Twitter account and your LinkedIn account, but nothing else, Klout goes ahead and creates shadow Klout accounts for your other social media profiles. Read the article to get the full story about the two Liz Gumbinner accounts the author found (Liz is best known as Mom 101). This will get particularly interesting because so many folks are deleting their Klout scores in protest of the new system — what will their shadow Klout scores say? Just because you delete your account doesn’t mean that there won’t be a Klout score assigned to you.

But worst of all, these shadow accounts are creating serious breaches of privacy.

Recently, a mother was rather shocked to find that Klout had created a profile for her son; he’d commented with his private, locked Facebook profile on her open, public Facebook wall, and BOOM. Klout made a profile for him, her 14-year-old son.

There is currently NO way to opt out of having a Klout profile.

When notified, Facebook addressed the issues saying that if a private Facebook user comments on a public account, they basically can’t be held accountable for what happens to that information. But regardless, Klout needs to offer an option to keep children’s profile from being established on their service (or those that prefer to remain private).

What do you think? Klout really is going through the wringer on this one. Apparently they have made some minor changes to the service to better protect privacy, but it’s hard to say if it will be enough, and without a way to opt out, there’s not much that can be done. What do you think? Is this simply another issue with living our lives online, or is this a serious concern?

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