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Personal Information Security IV

(September 12, 2007) I'm not so sure that the term "burglary" is very useful. The difficulty with a conversation about information security in the domestic American marketplace is that few people are really interested in solving the problem. Instead, the recent brouhaha is essentially a marketing component of the apparent decline of the Monster brand.

One wonders why, in the midst of Monster's demise, the two other large players in the job board space seem to emerge unscathed. Surely, it's not because they exude confidence, competence and high moral standards. It may be as simple as the dark negatives at the heart of the Monster brand have finally picked up enough momentum to influence the market overtly. Or, maybe it's a really clever play to drive the stock price down making a bidding war a foregone conclusion.


ERE's recent poll of recruiters suggests that information security is a non-issue to the mainstream of our industry. It's hard to tell what that means, exactly. The IAEWS (the job board association) seems to have a strong affiliation with Onrec, an ERE competitor. While IAEWS says it's an issue, the ERE poll says "not so much".

Much of our industry runs on the fact that resumes and contact information are readily available and free from regulation. In the down times, it isn't unusual for a job board to sell the very information that was stolen from Monster earlier this summer. The data makes it possible to have a business that doesn't fall apart when the business cycle shifts.

Even with the prohibitive control exercised by Recruiting Nevada (see Monday's article), the abuse of personal information remains a clear and present risk. Anyone who assembles talent pools, EEOC data, applicant tracking systems or the databases that drive job boards faces pretty standard security risks. When the stakes include front page scrutiny as the result of pretty straightforward password theft, you can be sure that things will get harrier.

So, is there a problem?

Like incriminating information left on MySpace, most job hunters have no idea what risks they expose themselves to when they send out a resume. Identity theft is an insidious thing. It results in clogged email boxes and spam filters long before it causes a bank account drain. The impact is slow and hard to relate to the actual sending of a resume.

The cynicism of the next generation of job hunters will be aggravated if the ERE poll gets much play in the press. If recruiters don't care, who does?


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  • Information Security IV
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