Report: Resume Database Nightmare – Job Seeker Privacy at Risk
Pam Dixon, during the course of researching a separate study of resume databases, has discovered serious consumer privacy issues in resume databases that rise to the level of deserving immediate consumer notice. This report, below, highlights her findings.
The report itself is comprised of a consumer notice, which is based primarily on public documents. The report also contains policy recommendations and job seeker tips.
According to legal documents, HotResumes.com sold 4,941 resumes and/or email addresses to Biotechcareers.com for .33 cents each in a sale that was invoiced on November 30, 2002. This invoice was made public and was published as part of a lawsuit against Mr. Monastra ( Medzilla vs. Optimum Intelligence et al .) . The invoice was noted as a “resume sale” and it was marked as paid. A copy of the invoice is in Appendix A.
In July, 2002, Dr. Frank Heasley, the owner of Medzilla.com, a biotechnology job site, became aware that Jason Monastra, who was at the time a recruiter and the owner of Optimum Intelligence, was making a large number of resume downloads from the Medzilla resume database. Dr. Heasley quickly discovered that Jason Monastra was also the owner of a new job search site called Biotechcareers.com and had downloaded approximately 2,400 resumes from the Medzilla database within the space of several weeks .
Author Pam Dixon joins the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse , a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, in recommending that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) undertake a thorough investigation of the entire job search industry, online and off.
In any job search, it is undeniably important to circulate a resume. However, job seekers need to carefully minimize privacy issues related to resumes while still maintaining appropriate exposure to employers.
It is important for all job seekers to understand that resume databases vary widely in privacy practices and controls. Learning to choose a quality job search site and resume database with good privacy practices has become an important part of your job search if you plan to use the Internet as a job search tool.