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Don't email hundreds of agencies looking for work
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Aug 15

If I have understood the new privacy regulations, you're committing a crime if you send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/10/dos-donts-sending-emails-gdpr/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true


 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 00:05
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
What about agencies? Aug 15

Tom in London wrote:

If I have understood the new privacy regulations, you're committing a crime if you send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/10/dos-donts-sending-emails-gdpr/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true


What about many dozens (if not hundreds) of agencies that send out translators direct emails or post jobs about never existed projects or so called "potential projects" just to lure translators to send their CVs and data? And these agencies have never even thought about sending any single jobs to those translators ...
Sometimes I don't even answer them that I don't send my CV, I don't take part in tenders, I don't work via third party platforms.

Lying about a non-existing future project just to lure translators to send their data and CV is actually a fraud...

[Edited at 2018-08-15 13:11 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't believe marketing is a crime - yet Aug 15

Tom in London wrote:
If I have understood the new privacy regulations, you're committing a crime if you send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/10/dos-donts-sending-emails-gdpr/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

I don't have the same interpretation at all, Tom. Not that that means I'm right, of course icon_smile.gif !

I can see that it's a crime to use a list of email addresses, obtained for any purpose, to send a cold-call application. So that would mean that those "lists" you can buy are probably illegal as well as 99% a useless waste of money now.

But agencies listed on ProZ.com can still be contacted unless they specify they don't want to be. There are several options on the site. At the very least, they can specify they don't want to be contacted; they can specify preferred contact method(s); or they can give an email address in clear. As long as you keep their preferences in mind I can't see how you can't be allowed to contact them. And it's entirely in your own interests to personalise your email as much as possible, so it won't be regarded as a mass mailshot.


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Viesturs Lacis  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 01:05
Member (2014)
English to Latvian
Sounds illogical Aug 15

Tom in London wrote:

If I have understood the new privacy regulations, you're committing a crime if you send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/10/dos-donts-sending-emails-gdpr/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true


The reason why marketing emails are a concern under data protection laws is because the law correctly recognizes: just because I have created a mailbox and given out its address to someone (the address is known only to me until that point), I have not consented to everybody and their dog sending me their marketing dreck. Hence, the address of someone's mailbox is treated as their private personal data. Why would a similar presumption exist for commercial entities? I would have thought willingness to be approached with business inquiries is the whole point of publicly announcing one's business contact information.

Besides, are generic agency mailboxes (created and controlled by legal entities) even "personal data" under the GDPR and similar laws? What "identified or identifiable natural person" are they related to?


IanDhu
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
You need to get permission before cold-emailing people Aug 15

Quote:

"If you’ve been sending out cold prospecting emails and sales pitches on auto-pilot lately, then you’re going to have to stop.

Immediately."

https://www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr-sales/

(edit added later):

"...you can continue to send cold sales emails to prospects, if the email is sent to an individual and not to a group of recipients .....and if you have included a link to your privacy statement explaining why you are contacting them in the first place (i.e. you have a legitimate interest)."

I would advise doing this because if your unsolicited email annoys one of the recipients, they could take action against you.

It would be REALLY USEFUL if Proz could give its members legal advice about all this, including not only translators seeking new clients, but also agencies that send out large numbers of emails inviting translators to apply for jobs. Etc., etc. Will Proz do this for its paying customers, I wonder?

[Edited at 2018-08-15 14:01 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Very good idea Aug 15

Tom in London wrote:
It would be REALLY USEFUL if Proz could give its members legal advice about all this, including not only translators seeking new clients, but also agencies that send out large numbers of emails inviting translators to apply for jobs. Etc., etc. Will Proz do this for its paying customers, I wonder?

That really would be a good idea. How about proposing it to staff, Tom?


missdutch
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:05
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Tom Aug 15

Tom in London wrote:
If I have understood the new privacy regulations, [you are not allowed to] send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.


1. One should distinguish between consent to be contacted (spam law) and consent for one's data to be processed (privacy law).
2. According to recital 47, "the processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest".

The term "legitimate interest" in GDRP-speak relates to article 6 that says "1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies: ... (f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data ..."

An important question for direct marketing purposes is whether or when the individual's interest overrides your business interest. As far as I can tell, simply making a list of translation agencies to contact would not result in any of the following:
* not be reasonably expecting the processing; (a business would expect that there will be people who want to do business with the business, and so the business would reasonably expect that people would gather information about the business for that purpose)
* be likely to object to the processing;
* have a significant impact on them;
* would prevent them exercising their rights.
... so it passes the test.

The big snag is what in GDPR-speak is called "information" (i.e. "to inform"). You are required to inform people that you are processing their data (even if your processing is legitimate), except in a few cases that do not apply to us. So if you make a list of potential clients, you have to tell them that you have made a list of potential clients and that they are on your list (and all the rest). This needn't be a problem, however, since the purpose of making a list is to contact them anyway.

If you buy a book, you're not required to contact all people mentioned in the book to tell them that you are in possession of information about them. If you buy a phone book, ditto. And if you buy a list of agencies, along with their contact details...? The web site you mention, Tom, has some opinion on it, but it's just one opinion.


[Edited at 2018-08-15 14:37 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:05
German to English
GDPR doesn't generally apply to B2B Aug 15

Based on the information I've gained from the seminars and webinars on the GDPR I have attended, the legal position appears to be that, if a translator is sending emails to named individuals at companies in their capacity as e.g. owner or project manager (or "vendor manager") at that company, it's not an issue under the GDPR. Of course emails to neutral email addresses such as "vendors@", "info@", "applications@" etc. are wholly irrelevant for GDPR purposes.

Perhaps ironically, the situation is different when translation companies/agencies contact European translators they haven't done business with before. That's because under the GDPR, freelance translators are considered to be private individuals, rather than businesses (unless they're running their business as a limited company or an equivalent legal form), so the full weight of the GDPR applies here.

So it shouldn't be a problem for translators to mail their CVs to hundreds of agencies, though personally, I think that's a very ineffective way to acquire new clients.


Daryo
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 06:05
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
The crime is its own punishment Aug 15

Personally, I believe someone who does this will be sufficiently punished by getting on the blocked list of hundreds of agencies that there will be no need for further penalty.

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Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
Why? Aug 16

Lincoln Hui wrote:

Personally, I believe someone who does this will be sufficiently punished by getting on the blocked list of hundreds of agencies that there will be no need for further penalty.


Why would each individual agency block you though? They might simply delete the email if it doesn't stand out in any way, but I don't see why they would go to the length of blocking everyone who cold-emails them.


Ricardo Suin
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:05
Member
Italian to English
The best (and most boring and time-consuming) way to contact agencies Aug 16

Unfortunately what many translators don't realise is that simply sending a bunch of emails indiscriminately to agencies is a pretty fruitless exercise; a more useful one for all concerned is to do your homework on the agencies concerned before you contact them; unfortunately it's boring and time-consuming process compared to just firing off a bunch of unsolicited emails. There are two things a translator should do:

Go to the agency's website. Does it work in your language pair and specialist areas?
Look at how the agency wants to be contacted (and I've never seen an agency website without some kind of contact page). Is it by email using the address they provide, or do they have a contact form they want you to fill in?

These are just common sense steps that will ensure the agency doesn't get annoyed and that there is no danger of infringing the law. Although as RobinB has pointed out, it's not an issue under GDPR anyway.

[Edited at 2018-08-16 14:32 GMT]


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Lucien Rousseau
Canada
English to French
+ ...
@Fiona Aug 18

Unfortunately what many translators don't realise is that simply sending a bunch of emails indiscriminately to agencies is a pretty fruitless exercise; a more useful one for all concerned is to do your homework on the agencies concerned before you contact them; unfortunately it's boring and time-consuming process compared to just firing off a bunch of unsolicited emails.

Most of the agencies possess application forms on their websites dedicated to freelance translators. They'll ask you a couple of questions and information about your work, experience, and rates. I think it's the safest way to apply for a translation agency since it's a form that they proposed themselves, so there shouldn't be any problem about breaking a law. I prefer not to apply to the agency if they do not have that form as I don't like "cold-calling". I have recently applied to a couple of translation agencies (about 10) and I did not encounter any problem.

[Edited at 2018-08-18 03:31 GMT]


Valérie Ourset
 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:05
Serbian to English
+ ...
Small fly in the ointment ... Aug 19

Tom in London wrote:

If I have understood the new privacy regulations, you're committing a crime if you send out your CV etc. to agencies that didn't ask you for that information.

https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2018/02/10/dos-donts-sending-emails-gdpr/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true


annoying "little details"

checking your facts first

remettre les pendules à l'heure

etc ...

Short version: stick to the basic principle of any research, i.e. get your information at the source, not second / third / fourth hand ....

GDPR applies O_N_L_Y to private individuals, NOT to any kind of business (including a one-man-band business) - applies O_N_L_Y when contacting individuals in their capacity as consumers.

and O_N_L_Y to individuals residing in the the EU and EEA areas.

The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 ("GDPR") is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

IOW there is no such thing as "personal data" for businesses, nowhere in the world, so there is no legal impediment to sending tens of thousands of emails to businesses!

If you fancy sending emails to all all translation agencies in the world, is has NOTHING to do with the GDPR directive!

The wisdom of doing so is another question ...


Gina Centanni
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Not recommending Aug 20

To be clear: I did not recommend emailing hundreds of agencies and I wouldn't do it myself. But there have been frequent questions in these forums from people who seem to think it's a good way to market their services. It isn't. My original post was just to warn them about the potential implications of doing it.

[Edited at 2018-08-20 14:34 GMT]


 

Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 01:05
English to Romanian
Mass e-mail Aug 20

Why is e-mailing hundreds of agencies wrong? If those agencies are listed here or in any other online directory, I'm sure they know they may well be e-mailed. I used to be one of the e-mailers. After doing this
Go to the agency's website. Does it work in your language pair and specialist areas?
Look at how the agency wants to be contacted (and I've never seen an agency website without some kind of contact page). Is it by email using the address they provide, or do they have a contact form they want you to fill in?
.

[Edited at 2018-08-20 15:25 GMT]


Ricardo Suin
 
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