iPhone apps run background checks on your date
CIO IT Drilldown, Brad Reed, November 19, 2009
In a move that is sure to make playboys everywhere nervous, Internet company PeopleFinders
has created two iPhone applications that let users perform background checks on their
The apps, known as "Stud or Dud?" and "Are They Really Single?", utilize data culled from
countless public records to give users a more complete picture of whom they're going out
with. PeopleFinders President and COO Bryce Lane says his company collects data from
"thousands of sources" across the country from "federal governments to the very smallest
city governments." He says the company then uses algorithms to sort through the data and
make comprehensive files that will give users a reliable picture of who the person is.
From there, the data is placed in PeopleFinders' database and is put up for sale. While
both of the applications the company debuted today cost a mere $0.99 to download, users
can only access records by either paying $9.95 per record or by paying an annual subscription
fee of $24.95. In the case of "Stud or Dud?" users have the option of using simply by a
person's first and last name, by their age and hometown, or by their phone number. From
there, the program gives you a list of potential matches to choose from.
Once the user thinks they've found their match, they can then access all of PeopleFinders'
records on them and learn whether they own property, whether they have a stable address
history, whether they've ever gone bankrupt, whether they're married or are in a possible
relationship and whether they have a criminal background or are registered as a sex
offender. Lane cautions, however, that the program cannot guarantee 100% that all of its
information is accurate, especially in cases where the person you're searching for has
a relatively common name. Lane says that like any search engine, "Stud or Dud?" will
work better the more information you put into it.
If "Stud or Dud?" is meant to be a comprehensive background check, the "Are They Really
Single?" app is more tailored to answering the specific question of whether someone is
either married or potentially in a long-term relationship. It could surely make those
with philandering lifestyles like that of Mad Men's Don Draper more than a tad nervous.
Much like "Stud or Dud?" the app combs through thousands of marriage records, divorce
records, common addresses and wedding dates to provide users with information about
whether the person they're seeing is really single.