Published nearly two decades ago, this aphorism has withstood the test of time because it perfectly sums up the degree of anonymity and deception that’s possible when interacting with people and organizations on the internet.
While some deception is relatively innocuous – think “catfishing” – its motivations are often significantly more nefarious: Online identity abuse in the form of synthetic identity fraud, account takeovers, identity theft, and other scams costs companies and individuals millions upon millions of dollars every year.
"Our UI’s ease of use combined with its deep identity verification capabilities makes it invaluable for investigators and law enforcement"
As Forrester Research states, “Without reliable identity verification, trust erodes and everyone suffers.”
Pipl Has the Answer
“Today, we are experiencing a global identity crisis, where no one can trust an online identity and no organization can protect our identities from being exposed,” says Bob Nendza, VP of Corporate Communications at Pipl. “This is the issue we strive to address.”
Pipl specializes in creating tools that provide private-sector organizations and government agencies easy access to accurate identity information.
Evolving from a Strong Legacy
Founded in 2005 as a search engine designed to provide identity information, Pipl has evolved into a leading provider of data-as-a-service through continuous innovation and data acquisition. Working with a diverse customer base that includes law enforcement agencies, insurance investigators, e-commerce businesses, and more, the company has developed robust, data-driven investigative and identity verification applications.
“Pipl SEARCH and Pipl API help clients review current and historical identity information,” said Pipl identity data expert Cody Young.
Pipl SEARCH is an intuitive SaaS search engine that returns interactive online identities featuring detailed personal, professional, social, demographic, contact, and relationship information. Clients can use this solution via its robust yet straightforward user interface to verify identities, detect fraud, and perform investigations. Unlike a typical identity search tool, Pipl SEARCH requires as little as a single search parameter, such as a username or a social media handle, to return a broad range of otherwise hard-to-connect identity information.
The key to accurately identifying a person lies in the assembly of the data
The Pipl API features developer-friendly client libraries and code samples for popular languages, enabling the addition of real-time identity information to client applications.
Pipl’s advantage is its unrivaled ability to collect, connect, and corroborate data from the Internet, public records, listings, directories, archives, and exclusive sources. “The key to accurately identifying a person lies in the assembly of the data,” says Nendza. Pipl has assembled over three billion online identities comprising over 100 billion identity elements drawn from over 25 billion records. Corroboration of identity data across this enormous number of records ensures the trustworthiness of Pipl’s data.
Optimizing Law Enforcement Initiatives
According to Nendza, Pipl’s suite of products is an ideal tool for law enforcement investigations. In fact, the solution is creating a paradigm shift in the way law enforcement agencies approach a crime scene by providing them with people’s personal, professional, social, demographic, contact, and relationship information, including social media accounts and other digital traces. This enables agents to paint an accurate picture of a suspect’s identity and reduce the time spent developing new leads, filling information gaps, and finding known associates.
“The Pipl SEARCH UI’s ease of use combined with its deep identity verification capabilities makes it invaluable for investigators and law enforcers,” says Young.
Illustrating Pipl SEARCH’s value proposition, Nendza recalls an incident when one of Pipl’s sales representatives visited a Canadian law enforcement bureau. Upon noticing a few wanted posters on their board, the rep used Pipl SEARCH to look up one of the criminals. In a matter of minutes, investigators could find the crook’s social media handle, and discover that he was residing in a foreign country. They were able to quickly track his digital footprint, arrest him, and close the case.
Pipl’s index can also be used to stop online application fraud by highlighting the mismatched pieces of identity data that are hallmarks of criminal activity—something beyond the reach of traditional law enforcement tools that gather only “on the record” information such as driver’s licences and credit information.
A Culture that Prioritizes Innovation
Pipl’s prominent position in the identity verification landscape stems from its innovation-driven approach. By integrating sophisticated models and a unique architecture that leverages the power of data science and machine learning, the company has designed and continues to refine a robust suite of online identity solutions. Pipl’s innovative initiatives are driven in part by the company’s long standing relationships with its customers: The company goes the extra mile to treat clients as its design partners, adding them to the product life cycle.
With innovation embedded deep in its DNA, Pipl plans to develop new products and augment existing solutions to better serve its current and prospective clients. First on that list is an identity verification product, Pipl VERIFY, that can help prevent fraudulent transactions without inducing revenue-reducing customer friction.
“We are always striving to build a future where identity information is protected from abuse and controlled by its true owner,” concludes Young.