Back on February 28, 2017, I wrote a piece about Dice.com maintaining inaccurate developer profiles and offering to post any response from Dice. Here it is in its entirety:
From: Billie Pinegar <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 2:21 PM Subject: Dice Open Web Hi Ian, We came across your blog post regarding Open Web. I have confirmed that your profile information has been removed from our Open Web solution and can no longer be viewed by our customers. We value our tech professionals on Dice and want to ensure we respect your preferences. If we can be of additional assistance, you can always reach us at email@example.com. Please let me know if you have any questions. Billie Pinegar | Senior Manager, User Experience Dice | ClearanceJobs TF: 888.321.3423 x202198 | O: 515.313.2198 firstname.lastname@example.org
First of all, kudos to them for figuring out “my twitter handle at gmail” from the tweet I mentioned in my previous article.
- they don’t deny or dispute anything I wrote as unthruthful or inaccurate
- they confirmed that my profile has been blacklisted and no longer available
- they claim to respect my preferences, but that they “value our tech professionals on Dice”
- funny, I deactivated my profile last year, I was “on” Dice any more, what about THAT preference? I had to go through all of this so they would remove my profile, but what about everyone else for whom they’re tracking inaccurate data?
If they TRULY respected the preferences of technical professional on their platform, then they should be completely shutting down ALL profiles, ALL data, ALL representation of my skills when I deactivate my own profile. It’s absurd, to draw an analogy, that if I wanted to quit using Facebook that Facebook would still keep a record of everything I had on their platform, plus scrape additional online information about me, and make that available only to paying users.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one:
- tech company scrapes data about developers
- said company makes that data available to recruiters for a fee
I’ve been trying to draw other parallels between this “Open Web” platform of theirs, and the class-action lawsuit going on with TalentBin:
"Notably, most consumers do not sign up to have their information featured on Defendant's website," the TalentBin class action lawsuit states. "While consumers who choose to do so can submit information for inclusion in their profile, Defendant’s regular business practice is to create profiles on consumers and sell them, without the consumer having done anything to invite or initiate a relationship with Defendant."
From an alternate source about the TalentBin lawsuit:
You are a member of the class if you were subject of a TalentBin profile and who, between October 2, 2013, and August 8, 2016, inclusive, (a) requested from TalentBin a copy of the profile about them or (b) were the subject of a profile, containing at least one email address not known to be bad, that was exported to a Recruiter (the “Settlement Class”).
A state court class action claims the tech recruiting start-up TalentBin collects, packages and sells users' information without their authorization. ... is similar to federal class action claims brought against professional networking site LinkedIn earlier this year. Lead plaintiff Eric Halvorson claims that the TalentBin’s website "scours the Internet and aggregates personal information about consumers from various sources." TalentBin then assembles the information into "candidate profiles" – which include rankings of the users’ skills based on the gathered information – and sells the profiles to their customers, who use them to evaluate the candidates for employment, Halvorson says.
The fact that Dice.com makes these developer profiles available to paying members, and these developer profiles are (a) done without my permission, (b) done without my knowledge, and © available only to paying members … how is that any different from TalentBin?
My Response to Dice today
Hi Billie, In full disclosure, I've posted your response on my blog as promised to my other readers: https://iandouglas.com/headhunter-nightmares/dice.com-scam-reply-from-dice-rep Thanks for confirming that my profile has been blocked, but the root of the issue is that Dice and/or ClearanceJobs and/or DHI Group Inc seems to be following in the footsteps of TalentBin / Monster, and I'm curious when Dice.com will publicly admit to doing the same thing with their "Open Web" platform, and provide compensatory relief for the "tech professionals" you claim to value so much, who have been hounded and harassed by companies and recruiters who get their contact information from Dice without our knowledge or consent? For your review, please see additional notes below and please send this to your directors, VPs, and perhaps legal counsel. I'm not suggesting legal action at this time, but really once word gets out about what your platform is doing, those also familiar with the TalentBin case will draw their own conclusions. Ian https://www.courthousenews.com/class-of-users-irked-by-talentbin-dossiers/ Parallels I've drawn just from that article alone, let alone several dozen other sources: - A state court class action claims the tech recruiting start-up TalentBin collects, packages and sells users’ information without their authorization. Dice.com also collects and packages information about developers without their knowledge or permission, and makes it available only to paying members of the "Open Web" platform. - Lead plaintiff Eric Halvorson claims that the TalentBin’s website “scours the Internet and aggregates personal information about consumers from various sources.” Dice.com has confirmed to me that this is exactly what the "Open Web" platform does, and to use your rep's words: Dice offers a service to employers that gathers publicly-available information from social media websites. Any information you may have online, that’s publicly-available, would show through this search. This is the only way someone could possibly see information about you via Dice; which is the same as finding you through a search engine such as Google, Bing, etc - TalentBin then assembles the information into “candidate profiles” – which include rankings of the users’ skills based on the gathered information – and sells the profiles to their customers, who use them to evaluate the candidates for employment This is exactly the purpose of the "Open Web" platform, isn't it? - [Halverson] also claims that although some users are willing participants, the company’s regular practice is to create and sell the profiles “without the consumer having done anything to invite or initiate a relationship” with TalentBin. Even when I fully deactivated my own account at Dice.com last year, Dice continued to maintain a profile about me despite my wishes to be removed from the platform, and made that available to paying members of the "Open Web" platform. - In fact, since TalentBin gathers personal information without the users’ authorization, “many of the consumers on whom defendant has compiled a candidate profile have no idea that such a profile exists or that it is being communicated to potential employers,” Halvorson says in the complaint. As mentioned above, Dice.com does all of this without user's permission, and I wasn't aware that "Open Web" even existed until some recruiters admitted it to me and sent screenshots. - “Aside from being ‘creepy,’ when consumers are unaware of the information being communicated about them, they are deprived of the opportunity to ensure that the information is accurate, up-to-date, and adequately reflects their actual qualifications,” the suit says. Since the information collected by Dice.com is outside of my control, and nothing is published that indicates which public sources you routinely scrape for information, I have no control over the accuracy of this hidden profile. In fact, in my blog post, I mention a few cases where your information about me was false enough to entice recruiters to reach out to me for jobs for which I was not qualified. - Halvorson says he found just such issues with the profile TalentBin created for him without his consent, which inaccurately listed his current job and failed to reflect his college degree. The profile that a recruiter sent to me wasn't up to date with any current employment information and only mentioned I was a previous Lead Engineer at SendGrid, making me appear to have been unemployed for a lengthy period of time, which can severely damage a developer's reputation.