Predictim Hits Pause: Babysitter Screening Service Under Fire

Credit: One News Page Staff- Published on December 19, 2018
by 👨‍💻 Adam Yardley

In a world where you can rate pretty much everyone you come across for the services they provide to you, it makes plenty of sense that there should be a service to help parents protect their children from potential babysitters they may wish to hire. Once service, however, has gone one step further – and has enabled users to effectively screen their potential babysitters online before they are even hired. That service in question is called Predictim, and according to Gizmodo, it has recently been placed on temporary pause following a spate of increased press interest – much of it reportedly being negative.

The service operates on a premium basis, allowing parents to purchase the opportunity for an online investigator to scour criminal records, social media and general internet searches for information on those whom they may wish to hire. The platform would then offer a grade on certain individuals requested, advising parents with regard to the level of ‘risk’ involved when hiring them. There is an algorithm at work, reportedly, though this remains fairly closed-off beyond those in the know.

The service has received some negative press in recent times, and it appears that there may be some rethinking and reorganization planned behind the scenes. The service reportedly used public data – but it’s clear that some people may have felt uncomfortable using the platform.

An official statement left on Predictim’s website appears to offer some clarity on matters. “We have been overwhelmed by the interest, press coverage and input regarding our project. To be honest, this attention came earlier than we expected, and certainly before we had fully launched our contemplated services.

“We received some very helpful feedback on ways we could make Predictim even better,” the statement continues. “Clearly, people are hungry for better ways to make decisions in marketplaces where character, reputation, and trustworthiness are important. As a result, we have decided to pause our full launch and put our heads down to focus on evaluating how we offer our service and making changes to address some of the suggestions we received. While we are not offering any services at this time, please stay tuned and check back often for updates.”

“We will be back!” The statement concludes, indicating that the service will be back online after some tweaking. It’s safe to say that there will likely be solid interest in Predictim once it returns from sabbatical – so let’s wait and see what comes of it.

Credit: Storyful Studio
Published on December 19, 2018 -  00:39
Scottish Firefighters Free Jack Russell From Fox Den
A little dog was reunited with her owner on December 9 after being trapped in a fox den in Edinburgh, Scotland, for over an hour.According to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Ethel, a one-year-old Jack Russell terrier, wandered off while out walking on Corstorphine Hill with her owner, May Watson.“It was the first time we had taken her to that part of the hill and Ethel immediately got a scent of something and shot off," Watson said. Watson eventually heard Ethel’s barks coming from a fox den beneath an old railway carriage. Unable to retrieve the dog, she called the fire brigade.Thankfully, the crew was successful in its rescue mission. Manager Andy McDermot said that his crew found the dog by “using listening devices and remote cameras, which are used in urban search and rescue situations where we try to locate people in collapsed buildings; they were able to pinpoint the approximate location of Ethel who was stuck – and also the fox!”“It wasn’t looking good for Ethel for a while due to the darkness coming in but she managed another whimper that allowed us to find her,” he added.This footage, shared by the fire and rescue service, shows an ecstatic Ethel emerging from the hole and greeting her owner. Credit: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service via Storyful

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