MONSTER, THE JOBS site with global reach, has written a case study in how to lose friends and skewer professional reputations by misappropriating e-mail addresses of contacts used in Irish marketing campaigns. This information comes second-hand from the astute rain-maker Michele Neylon who noted "the Monster email was particularly bad, as the person who sent it obviously doesn't know how to send mass email properly and included all the recipients in the CC field." Neylon knew what to do about the irritation. He submitted it to Spamcop and that effectively blocks incoming mail from Monster reaching my Yahoo! in box. All the better.
But not too good for Monster, a company that needs to develop its business by reaching potential influencers who could recommend Monster as an employment agency of first regard. Now that Monster mail is spam-blocked from my mail system, no fewer than 10 potential web developers and multimedia programmers each month will not receive Monster mail through the Moodle e-learning and placement service that we maintain at Tipperary Institute.
From listening to and working with other staff members in Monster, I know the company takes any abuse of its own products and services very seriously. I had expected the same standard when Monster Ireland staff combed over e-mail addresses procured through open membership directories. As far as I remember, Monster has a team dedicated to enforcing compliance with data protection standards. After reading Tom Raftery's experience, I wonder if anyone has upchanneled the story to Monster's fraud team: firstname.lastname@example.org because that mail used to go to April Jodoin, Manager of the Compliance and Anti-Fraud team at Monster. From what I have read, Monster itself should clamp down and enforce the applicable Irish data protection standards.
I don't know how Monster will dig itself out of this mess. In our part of the jobs universe, Monster have lost the autumn semester of placements for several southeast Ireland third level institutions. In no uncertain terms, Monster has violated legislation that protects the use and restrictions surrounding online address elements. Simply put, data can only be used for the purposes for which it is obtained. No one has given Monster permission to use the bank of email addresses that fueled part of its Monday spam campaign. From my perspective, Monster is in a difficult position. If improper use is acknowledged, penalties can follow. If Monster Ireland blindly asserts its right to harvest and mass mail, it exposes itself as ignorant at best.
In the meantime, there are plenty of other recruitment firms to select in the IT market today. Most of them respect the data protection provisions as outlined by law.
Michele Neylon -- "Irish Companies Don't Get Email Marketing vs Spam"
Tom Raftery -- "Monster Steals Email Addresses and Spams itCork Membership"
Wait! There's More! -- "Monster threaten legal action and ask me to blame someone else"
Damien Mulley -- "Monster Ireland Spam Irish People and Follow it Up with Legal Threats"