Job.com Refuses To Delete Your Private Information

Dan is pissed because Job.com won’t remove his name, email address, phone number, and home address from their servers. For reasons unknown, someone else set up a profile with his personal info on Job.com. When Dan contacted Job.com, they said that because they “must account for all transactions and account histories” they couldn’t delete the info. They also assured him that since he didn’t have a resume posted, recruiters can’t search or view his information. Dan feels Job.com’s internal “requirements” shouldn’t have any bearing on his right to privacy. What do you think? Correspondence between the two, after the jump.——————————————————————————–
Topic: I have feedback to give to Job.com
Preferred Method of Contact: E-Mail
Best Time to Contact: Early Morning

——————————————————————————–
Message:
Please delete my account and information completely from Job.com and any affiliated sites/services. Please update me when this is done. Thank you, Dan

On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 4:48 PM, wrote:

Thank you for using Job.com! We are unable to delete your profile from our system because we must keep the account information in our database. Our company must account for all transactions and account histories. However, per your request, I have reviewed your account and see that you do not have a resume posted. Therefore, your account with us is inactive, since it cannot be searched or viewed by Recruiters. If you are concerned about outside parties being able to view your information, you need not worry because only you have access to this secured account. We have unsubscribed you from our email subscription list.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (877) 756-2266.

Thank You
Kristy
Customer Service

——–

Thank you Kristy for the quick response.

Please advise as to the clause in your privacy policy, and your membership policy which states that my account cannot be deleted. The reason why this is important to me is that about 3 weeks ago an account with my information was set up on a website I never even heard of. The information listed there was identical to the info posted on your site. I want all information pertaining to me removed from your servers.

Thank you.

Dan

—-

It’s been a week after Dan sent the last email and there’s been no response.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. dbson says:

    I’d be pissed…

  2. Technick says:

    Sometimes you need to file lawsuits to motivate companies to comply with your wishes. Though without someone on the inside or a subpoena demanding proof of your information being deleted, their is no real way to find out for sure if your data has been deleted or not.

  3. zentex says:

    format much?

  4. CyberSkull says:

    Great photo!

  5. dragonfire81 says:

    Most companies do keep account information on you, even if you cancel service. When I worked at Sprint, I saw accounts that had been closed in 1998 still in the system, with the name, address, contact number and SSN still intact (now obviously most of the information would have changed by now, except for name and SSN, but it was still in there). We never actually physically removed an account from the system completely. They were just dormant.

  6. ShortBus says:

    As a former database developer, there is some credence to their reasoning. When you design a database, certain fields are linked to other fields for consistency sakes. The interlinked data forms a mesh of sorts and it becomes impossible to delete a certain record without causing a domino effect. Therefore, the database developer will make it technically impossible to permanently delete anything.

    Now, there are ways to properly account for deletes from the start. And you could also redesign the schema, but it’s not a non-trivial endeavor. What’s likely an easier solution is for the company to keep the records in their system, but overwrite the OP’s personal data with stuff like “John Doe”, “123 Main St.”, etc.

  7. ThunderRoad says:

    I had this happen with another job site a couple years ago. I had to file a BBB complaint that contained language about going to the state AG to get it resolved.

  8. xirian says:

    Can I get a bigger copy of the story image? :*

  9. ArgusRun says:

    @ShortBus:

    Changing the info to generic John Doe entries would solve the problem assuming they did the intelligent thing when they designed the database and used a unique serial number as the primary key. If they are idiots and used ssn’s or some other form of personal information, everyone is screwed and the database architect should be shot and/or forced to endure an endless loop of pain.

  10. chrisjames says:

    Yes, databases are usually designed so that information is never really deleted. Some are set up so that even if all of your account information is removed from all of the relevant tables, there are still “histories” of any and all changes that are made to the database that will save ghost copies of the data. These are saved in case any changes need to be rolled back for whatever reason, and it’s safer, from the DBAs perspective, to keep all this information to preserve this functionality. All of the DBs I’ve worked on had systems like this, but I don’t know if this is common practice.

    The best you can do is ask them to delete your account information from the front-end, then close the account. Your data will never go away, but it should be inaccessible to anyone but the DBAs.

    Still, there should be laws against storing customer information after they’ve requested it deleted, especially when so many disgruntled employees are making a buck selling the stuff.

  11. Joedel263 says:

    couldn’t you just log in to the account and change the personal information to something false?

  12. heyitsme says:

    Have you thought about telling them that you’ve changed your contact information? I wonder if that would work. You can tell them you changed your address and number and see if they can “update” your profile. Maybe that will get your private data out of their system.

  13. Buran says:

    How can they keep it when they never had your consent to have it in the first place? I don’t want to hear any technical excuses. They can fill it with random garbage and their database will still work.

  14. scoosdad says:

    @ThunderRoad: ..and we all know how helpful and useful the BBB is:

    [consumerist.com]

  15. Cliff_Donner says:

    For reasons unknown, someone else set up a profile with his personal info on Jobs.com.

    I think the wording here is confusing. I’m thinking that the situation here is that Dan himself did register on Jobs.com, but then found himself registered on some unrelated website, and he was able to determine that the information used to register him on this unrelated site came from the Jobs.com site.

    It’s not clear here if it’s the case that Dan suspects Jobs.com of sharing his info without permission or that their database was hacked, or if the information that was “leaked” was just info that was publicly available at a time when his resume was posted.

    But yeah, I would just trying “updating” my info with nonsense info. By doing so, I would feel more assured that the actual data was no longer available than receiving an unverifiable assurance that “Oh yeah, we totally deleted your data.”

  16. wickedpixel says:

    Why not log in and change all the information himself? John Doe at 123 Main St, etc

  17. BigNutty says:

    That’s why you should actually read the privacy policy before you attempt to imput any personal information into any website.

    If you can live with the policy, go for it, If not, move along.

  18. capnjack says:

    @ShortBus: Yes, but it should be possible to identify all information linked to a record in the db and delete all related records with a few queries. If not, it’s just bad design.

  19. dlab says:

    @ShortBus: As a customer care specialist, I can tell you that nobody gives a crap what the database schema looks like. What does matter is the privacy of my personal information. Their IT folks need to do whatever it takes to “make it work” just like the rest of us do, no excuses.

  20. angel197593 says:

    This very same thing happened to me yesterday. No one set up another account in my name, but I did get a telephone call last night from someone from an “affiliated website” trying to sell me on continuing my education. I immediately went to Job.com to try to delete my account because I don’t like being hassled in that way. I got the very same e-mail message. Today, I “updated” my profile and registration and changed my information around a bit, such as: name:Remove Account…etc. On my resume (which I made searchable to all recruiters), My Objective was: “to remove my profile from this website and to warn others concerning the bad business practices of this site”. All information was changed to this effect. I also sent another e-mail to let them know that they should review my profile! Maybe this will make them think twice about screwing with people’s privacy!!

  21. NDaBoonies says:

    The site is owned by Virginia Web Properties. 540 373-3373

    I called and demanded my information be deleted from all their databases as I was sick of the constant spam. The response letter I received contained yet another solicitation.

    Time will tell if they have removed me. If not, they will hear lots from me.

  22. Felinis says:

    IMHO Job.com is a parasite job site. They seem to take real job leads from one job board, then post this lead on another board, directing the original job application link to point to Job.Com. This forces you to register with Job.com before they forward you to the actual job board/site, which is usually JobFox. Once you get to JobFox or whatever, you have to register again there.

    It gets better – I believe that Job.Com has no jobs. Instead they have spiders that sweep other job boards for their jobs. Then Job.com re-formats that information and places it on their board, with a link to the real job site (like JobFox). Every job that I have selected from their site forwarded me to another job board. All of their impressive statistics about how many jobs they offer is simply a count of the number of jobs that their spiders have scavenged from other sources.

    And no, they will not unregister you or delete your account.

    Job.com is owned by eNom – “domain reseller registrar”. Two of their products are the “eNom API” and “Instand Reseller”. eNom API allows the user to “Integrate into an existing site”. It “seamlessly integrates with 3rd party merchant account/billing tools, hosting/email tools, and other value-added services.”. Instant Reseller will “start earning revenue by driving customers to your very own white labeled storefront “.

    It appears to me that Job.com has “integrated” into other job sites such as JobFox where they start “driving customers” (job seekers) to Job.com, where they “resell” the jobs that they find there.

    Nom is owned by Demand Media.