Consumer-targeted people finder and background data reseller, Intelius, recently acquired the social networking people search site, Spock. Intelius is the ubiquitous Internet provider of background reports — serving the consumer hungry for criminal records and other dirt on potential dates, family members and service providers — but more expensive and not as comprehensive as professional databases. A good private investigator doesn’t just report information received from a database search but confirms and analyzes it, building on the raw data to deliver fuller and more accurate reports to the client. Despite the cost and limitations in the quality of the Intelius generated background reports, law offices sometimes use this service as a first stop, possibly because they think it will save them money. Or maybe, like many people, attorneys and legal assistants are thrilled by the prospect of getting the goods themselves.
Spock is a fee-based search engine — with a free teaser — for finding social networking profiles. Spock crawls websites, matching the personal information you provide, then returns the links. You’ll probably get more results from snitch.name, Wink or Pipl, and more refined returns from an advanced query at the top search engines. This map gives a rough guide to the most popular social networking sites by country.