Blippy.com has just given new meaning to the phrase “too much information.” The new Web site has gained a lot of press recently for its unusual idea of allowing users to share information about items they’ve bought using a credit card by broadcasting it on a Twitter-style social media platform. But earlier today, Blippy had a blooper: Credit card numbers for some of its users were revealed on Google (Stock Quote: GOOG).
According to VentureBeat.com, “[A]t least one Internet power user figured out a way to search for Blippy members’ credit card numbers on Google. A fairly obvious search for ‘from card’ this morning returned 127 results that included full credit card numbers.” On top of that, the results show the address of the place where the users made the original purchase. VentureBeat also reports that all of the credit card numbers are from Mastercards (Stock Quote: MA) issued by Citibank (Stock Quote: C).
We reached out to Blippy for comment but haven’t heard back yet. However, Blippy's co-founder, Philip Kaplan, claimed in a brief phone interview with the New York Times that really only four users had their credit card information leaked. Although he did acknowledge that even this "still looks pretty bad."
It's pretty bad alright, especially if you happen to be one of those four users, like Bradd Dantuma. For hours today, a simple Google search revealed his card number next to a debit charge from a Starbucks in Wyoming. As one friend of his has since written on his Google profile, “Psst… You might want to cancel your Blippy account. And probably change your credit card number.”
We spoke with Dantuma earlier and he described the whole experience as "shocking." Dantuma, a 38-year old firefighter, is a member of all the major social media sites and found out that the information for his bank debit card had leaked when several users notified him on Twitter. "Luckily, it was only four people affected, but that doesn't make me feel any better. Just to see my name pop up on all these Web sites and to see all these articles written about it, it's just a little shocking," he said. "It'll make me think twice before signing up for anything else."
Dantuma told me that he originally signed up for the service after a friend sent him an invitation, and he thought he might as well give it a try. "It was just one of those things that you sign up for and forget about until something happens like today," he said. For now though he has no intention to sue Blippy or seek compensation, though he admits the thought has "crossed my mind." And fortunately, he hasn't seen any fraudulent purchases appear on his credit card yet.
The great irony of all this is that Blippy was on the verge of becoming a big deal. The service had just announced yesterday it secured more than $11 million in funding, making its total valuation a handsome $46.2 million. On top of that, The New York Times ran a substantial (and mostly positive) piece on the site yesterday.
“Too much information, you say? On the Internet, there seems to be no such thing,” The Times wrote. They viewed Blippy as being part of our culture’s obvious trend toward publicizing all our personal information. But now, this incident proves that Blippy – and maybe all of us – flew a little too close to the sun. There’s no doubt that someone out there is saying “I told you so.”
Check back for updates on this story.
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