I haven’t mentioned much about Klout on here – it’s a site which uses your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) to measure your influence. Its aim is to score how much influence people have, and then use that information to sell you ‘perks’, or help businesses identify important people for targeted marketing.
If you thought Klout was anything other than that, consider it your wake-up call.
Klout has rightly been under fire in recent weeks. It creates profiles for people with private Facebook pages. Being in the US, it’s not subject to UK and EU data protection laws – if it was, it would be illegal. And it’s not even very sophisticated – you can very easily game Klout to get a higher score. And there are potentially better alternatives. So at best it’s largely a waste of time, and at worst it’s making a mockery of your privacy.
So I’ve therefore decided to delete my Klout account. This is somewhat easier said than done, as first of all you need to delete all but one of your account connections on other services. My advice is to delete all but the connection to your Twitter account, delete your Klout account, and then delete the connection in Twitter.
In case you need help, here are the links you will need to delete third-party account connections on each service:
- Google – for access to Blogger, YouTube and Google+
- LinkedIn (you’ll need to select ‘Groups, Companies and Applications’ and then ‘View Your Applications’)
- Foursquare (bottom of the page)
Finally, here are the instructions for deleting your account, which can apparently take some time. May be worth checking back a few days afterwards to see if it really has gone. Make sure you leave a comment when requesting the deletion.
Thankfully, Klout doesn’t store your passwords for any third party services, so once you’ve deleted the connection and removed your Klout account, Klout won’t be able to harvest any information about you directly. Whether it’ll still gather information about you by proxy, through your friends, is anyone’s guess.