back to article Hacker data dumps scrape to make huge grey marketing database

Former password collector Steve Thomas plans to tear up the contact broker market by offering a database of 30 million names for free, all built on data sourced by scraping the web. The former PwnedList founder, and now SalesMaple CEO, says the database will soon to balloon to almost 100 million records. Thomas said it will …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Ethical or not?

    Free or not, I've got a nasty feeling this isn't quite ethical. From the way the article reads, he's grabbing data hijacked from businesses like maybe SONY or Home Depot or Target. INAL, so I'm not even sure this is legal. Even if it is, it sure smells bad for those whose data is in that database.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Ethical or not?

      I would imagine that it's legal and was probably accomplished with a simple script; it really would not be too hard. As far as the ethics of it all, we are talking about marketing so it's not a big deal. Yay! The last vestiges of our privacy have taken another hit! We weren't using it any way.

      Icon, because marketing seems to have become government's little brother.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Ethical or not?

        I know hacking information may not be considered the same as theft (unless possibly the source information is destroyed)... but this does sound like selling stolen goods to me.

    2. g e

      Re: Ethical or not?

      And naturally it'll have no opt-out flags pre-scraped from anywhere a la TPS or MPS. Excellent.

      Yet another justification for leaving my phone to bin CLI-withheld or unknown numbers to voicemail.

  2. skeptical i

    mixed feelings

    On one hand, that "oh shit" sinking feeling that accompanies news of the latest hacked data dump, but OTOH I am not sure that taking money away from the scum that harvest/steal this data and then sell it on is a bad outcome.

  3. Harry the Bastard

    so he's selling stolen data

    what could possibly be wrong with that

  4. Thesheep

    Just because you scrape it from the web... doesn't give you the right (ethically or legally) to use it. I predict a metric shitstorm of legal challenges in a variety of jurisdictions, unless he can clearly demonstrate the consent of the end user and the agreement of the owners of the scraped websites.

  5. M Gale

    Company makes new search engine.

    Commentards go batshit.

    People continue to publish every detail of their lives on the web.

    Nothing changes.

    1. Irongut

      Re: Company makes new search engine.

      People may but I don't. This guy is hoovering up pilfered data and providing it to marketing people without my or the data owner's consent. That should violate at least a few EU data protection laws.

      1. Infernoz Bronze badge

        Re: Company makes new search engine.

        It is fine if the identity data is only temporarily gathered for security research and whistle-blowing but never for bulk publication, especially not for profit!

        I hope this greedy slime is put out of business by some costly data protection, data theft and identity protection related law suits.

      2. M Gale

        Re: Company makes new search engine.


        Published. You know: Made Public.

        >providing it to marketing people without my or the data owner's consent.

        Welcome to the Internet.

  6. BeerTokens

    opt out?

    If this is accessible by any one, then it would not take to much for go through it looking for your own personal information, and then at least you know when you're information has been compromised and can take the appropriate action.

  7. sxsw_cancelled

    This man is an internet terrorist

    Internet terrorists like this man need to be stopped. You wouldn't download a car, would you?

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