Seems to be a lot of discussion about Klout these days. Here is my two cents.
Full disclosure, yes I have a Klout profile that I occasionally check, more on that later.
Klout is Creating Accounts/Profiles for People without their Permission
This seems to be a big one, and I’m one of the biggest proponents of privacy, as a result my Facebook profile doesn’t have any true information on it.
First of all Klout isn’t creating an account for you. It is creating a profile, a snapshot of you, based on information you’ve already made public. You’ve posted this information on a public network and its scrubbed and analyzed it just like google does.
If you create a Private Twitter account you will still show up on Klout (and google for that matter) with the publicly available info… Name, Profile Pic, and bio. Once again this is info you make public when creating an account.
Put Blame Where it Belongs
Now I know there have been some people who have say they have topics and ratings even on private profiles. First I’d like to see if this account was always private or at one time public and therefor that public data may still be available. Next, I’m not sure how the twitter API works for crawling indexes but any Private Account Tweets should be Private and should never have been made available to Klout, The security breach is Twitter’s/Facebook’s fault. Klout says to twitter/facebook give me information to analyze and then analyses it. If the twitter/facebook gives them private info, it’s twitter/facebooks fault for revealing the info, unless of course Klout has found some sort of security hole in those networks it’s exploiting. If they’re exploiting a security hole, then they’re in violation of the ToS of the sites, and legal action should be pursued.
Klout is Making Money of My My Info and I should have to Opt-In
Once again you’ve made the information public by broadcasting it on a public network. Google also crawls this info and makes money off it.
I Opted Out of Klout and My info is Still there
This one I totally concede on. If Klout provides a method from removing your information they should honor it. Fix it Klout.
Klout is Standard of Influence
This one is one of those “get a life” things. If you believe your or anyone’s Klout score has any real relevance you need to examine your own values. Yes businesses are using Klout scores to help find influences but any business that relies solely on Klout for this metric doesn’t have a sound social media strategy.
Remember google also trolls your info and assigns an arbitrary value to you in the form of Pagerank and SERP. I assume most people arent’ living and dying by there SERP results.
Klout only reason Klout dares claim to be “the standard of influence” is because no one else has tried.
I treat Klout as a game. I occasionally log in to see what topics it “thinks” I’m influential on. I think its as relevant as Twitter “similar to” list
Is Klout Broken?
Yes, they need to do a lot to fix how they measure info and maybe how they troll it, but they’re not some big boogie man sneaking into your private life stealing info (I hope). They are assigning arbitrary values on the connection and information that you the user has made public. I need to poorly quote Hamlet on this “There is nothing Good or Bad, but thinking makes it so.” So just chill out, delete your profile if you want and wait for them to fix their opt-out mechanism. We can all put the pitchforks down.
Unfortunately tumblr doesn’t provide the most robust system for discussion but I’m open to discuss this on Twitter (@thezenmonkey) and I’ll repost on Google+