doesn't understand data protection

[Update: Some further info on the post on Michele Neylon’s blog. Monster PR? Get on this one like a fat kid on a smartie now!]

Tom Raftery posted yesterday to let the world know that doesn’t quite grasp the concept of the DPA (Data Protection Act) which covers personal data like email addresses.

This morning one of it@cork’s members forwarded us an email conversation he had with John Burns, Monster’s Business Development Manager in Ireland. We were incredulous when we read it.

It started with an email from Monster’s John Burns to 189 recipients and CC’d to our member (!). Our member replied to John that this was spam and

…coming from Monster, most unprofessional. Worse, you exposed everyone’s email address to one another without their permission

Unbelievably for someone working in an online organisation, Monster’s John Burns seems to be unaware of the data protection legislation and responded to this saying:

These email addresses are part of a networking list from and are all available for everyone to see.

I do appreciate your concern chris, (i will keep my eye out for the bloggers!!!)

Having worked in email marketing before and being rather precious about my personal data (well… aside from the fact that I publish just about everything aside from my bra size on my blog!), shit like this winds me up a treat.

Some people don’t mind having to wade through piles of junk mail just to get to the important stuff, but it doesn’t give them permission to do the same to everyone else.

The Data Protection Act specifically requires a sender to have explicit permission from a user before mailing them, which is basic common sense anyways. But what I find absolutely gobsmacking, if I’ve understood the above correctly, is that he put 189 recipients in the “To” field. When anyone dares send me mail like that without making all recipients “Bcc”, it makes me want to do unspeakable things to them. I haven’t even received the email, yet it’s making me want to get my ass kicking boots on and go visit Johnny over in Ireland.

Urgh, some people just shouldn’t have access to the Internet, much less be involved in running an online business like Monster!

[Via Paul Walsh @ Segala & his twitter comment]

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