Jigsaw Data introduced a new feature for its business contact marketplace that gives non-registered users a good peak, a tease, into the database. The 'money' data, such as email address and business phone numbers, is only available to registered Jigsaw members. Jigsaw currently has 100,000 registered members and 3.7 million contacts at over 370,000 companies listed, according to company CEO Jim Fowler. Jigsaw has paying members ($25 per month for 25 contacts) and play members--if you add 25 new contacts per month, you are entitled to 50 contacts. Jigsaw also has a mechanism for cleaning the database and eliminating inaccurate or inappropriate information.
Jigsaw has 319 business contacts from CNET, which didn't come from individual employees providing their data
I talked to Jigsaw CEO Jim Fowler about some of the controversy around Jigsaw--some perceive it as "outing" people in the Jigsaw database, without their permission. Fowler called the privacy criticism a "kneejerk reaction."
"We only touch what is on a business card minus, a mobile number," Fowler said. "There is no non-business information. From a legal standpoint, people hand out business cards--there is no copyright or trade secrets. Some people freaked out about Jigsaw are companies trying to protect their employees, but at same they want to access the information on Jigsaw to find prospects and increase sales.
I predict that the biggest social impact that Jigsaw will have is to affect a major transfer of power from the employer to the employee."
A lot of the data comes from bulk loaders; for example one member has input 307,000 contacts and another 276,000, Fowler said. "Most of the data comes from a small percentage of membership, such as recruiters, financial sevices companies and smaller data companies. The data is very highly available." Like other Internet marketplaces, Jigsaw is taking advantage of Web technology and public data to create a more efficient market--but that doesn't mean all individuals will be pleased to find themselves in the database.