Pipl - The People Search Engine

The Blog of Tom Webster

  2009-02-03 17:42:00 PST

By now you all know that courts make their records public for those over the magical age of 18. If you’ve ever received a speeding ticket, you’re in a publicly accessible internet database with the charge plastered all over some webpage. But how much information is truly out there about you? And more importantly, how easily accessible is it? If you’ve ever googled your name, you’ve either been totally creeped out, or more likely, reassured. Google does a lot of things very well, the one thing they suck at is people search. I can search all day on Google for Tom Webster, and I think I’m the 18th on the list. Not bad… but most everything else in the search results are not me. Granted.. those with a more common name will be harder to search out, but Google doesn’t index court records, and if they do, they don’t do it very well. Pipl (pronounced “people”) is more than just a public records search engine, its (as the name implies) a search engine if you’re looking for one thing and one thing only: A person. Pipl searches not only court records, but they also search public government databases, tons of social networking websites, photo websites (such as flickr), LexisNexis, Amazon.com public wish lists, and many other places to grab information about a particular person. Its an absolutely amazing tool if you’re an employer, and a terrifying tool if you’re a person who’s running from what’s available in the public record. Pipl is a wonderful technical achievement for making information more easily accessable, but its also a bit unnerving. I have a FriendFeed Profile which I laughably nickname “Stalker 2.0”, but its never quite revealed this much information. Again.. the less common the search term, the better results you’ll get. Try it out! I’m sure you’ll be digging up terrible family secrets in no time!