We’ve talked in the past about Jigsaw.com, the site that encourages people to sell them your personal contact information (you give someone your business card, they log into www.jigsaw.com and literally get paid to rat you out by selling Jigsaw your contact info). Now it turns out that they will not remove your contact information, even if you request that they do so.
To refresh your memory, in our earlier particle about Jigsaw.com, we explained that:
If you have ever given your business card to a Jigsaw user, odds are that your contact information is already in there. Oh, and people who want to access your contact information have to pay for it, $1.00 per contact. That’s right, Jigsaw is selling your contact information – the very information which you never authorized them to have in the first place….
…Here is how it works:
Joe Schmoe signs up to be a JigSaw user. He can either pay $25.00 a month for access to the Jigsaw database of contact information, or he can contribute a minimum of 25 new contacts a month, and receive his own access for free. And remember, once Joe enters your contact information into the Jigsaw database, any Jigsaw user can access it, provided they are willing to pay the $1.00. Now here is where it gets even more interesting: for every business contact which Joe has entered, if another Jigsaw user buys it, Joe gets a dollar. And all, apparently, without your permission.
Ok, got the background?
Now, what happens if someone gives your information to Jigsaw – or, as apparently is happening, Jigsaw goes out and just finds whatever info it can on you – and creates a listing for you, with all of your contact information, for all of their users to exploit – Oh, the better to spam you with, my pretty! ?
It turns out that Jigsaw will not remove your listing from their database!
That’s right. There is no way to get them to remove you!
This is exactly what a colleague of ours found out, the hard way.
As they explain it, they received a solicitation telephone call on their cell phone, and when they asked the sales person how he had found their cell phone number, he was happy to share that he got it from Jigsaw.com.
So our colleague goes and looks themselves up on Jigsaw, and sure enough, there is an unauthorized listing for their company, listing their private cell phone number as the contact number.
Here, in their own words, is what happened next:
I wrote to their support department about the issue: remove my cell phone number. No problem, they said: write to the privacy department. (Apparently them actually forwarding my message to the privacy department was out of the question.) So I wrote to them, and they said sure, we can replace it — what’s the main business number? I told them there is none, just remove it. “But it’s a required field”, they wrote back. “So remove my company’s entry entirely”, I said. I didn’t ask to be listed in the first place.
We’re sorry, but cannot fulfill the request to remove your company from Jigsaw. Company information is typically free and open from a variety of sources.
So, Jigsaw.com’s policy is to scrape your contact information, sell it to people, making money off your contact information, and to refuse to remove your listing even when you ask.
Heck, even Google doesn’t go that far!
The two saving graces are that a) apparently you can update your listing, and so far as we know there is nothing stopping you from giving them an old telephone number that no longer works, or your childhood address.
The other thing is that if you sign up, you can actually see who it was that ratted you out to them, so that you can exact a fitting ‘reward’.
In poking around on the Jigsaw site, we saw two things of interest that were not there the last time we investigated Jigsaw. The first, which really says a lot, is that “Jigsaw is a certified licensee of the Direct Marketing Association’s Safe Harbor Program.”
The second, which is even more insidious (and, even, dare we say sinister) is that:
“Jigsaw has entered into a Business Transition with salesforce.com. As a result, any information collected about you on or through this website may be shared with salesforce.com or its affiliates.”
Is anyone out there brave enough to spin this one out to its natural conclusion?
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