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Illegal use of data from ProZ.com profile
Thread poster: RoxanaTrad (X)

RoxanaTrad (X)
Romania
Local time: 16:11
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jul 18, 2009

To all proz.com users:
I have recently been contacted by an Italian outsourcer to help her with a translation. Apparently, someone sent her my CV (without contact details) and prearranged it, adding another language certification to fit what the outsourcer needed. Fortunately, she found it to be weird (Pakistan sent and language pair was SLO-RO) and tried to contact me directly. She found me here, on proz.com and I was amaized and furious to hear of such abuse.
A day later I receiv
... See more
To all proz.com users:
I have recently been contacted by an Italian outsourcer to help her with a translation. Apparently, someone sent her my CV (without contact details) and prearranged it, adding another language certification to fit what the outsourcer needed. Fortunately, she found it to be weird (Pakistan sent and language pair was SLO-RO) and tried to contact me directly. She found me here, on proz.com and I was amaized and furious to hear of such abuse.
A day later I received the following message and everything became clearer:

"Dear roxana,

We recently learned that certain Elance user information was accessed without authorization, including potentially yours. The data accessed was contact information -- specifically name, email address, telephone number, city location and Elance login information (passwords were protected with encryption). This incident did NOT involve any credit card, bank account, social security or tax ID numbers.

We have remedied the cause of the breach and are working with appropriate authorities. We have also implemented additional security measures and have strengthened password requirements to protect all of our users. Some user information has been reported to be appearing on OutsourcingRoom.com. We are working with authorities to prevent their unauthorized use of this data.

We sincerely regret any inconvenience or disruption this may cause.

If you have any unanswered questions and for ongoing information about this matter, please visit this page in our Trust & Safety center:
For information on re-setting your password, visit:

Thank you for your understanding,

Michael Culver
Vice President
Elance"

Therefore, to proz users with an Elance account (there is even a proz.com group there) your CVs are helping others.
Outsourcers: kindly double check for identity before you submit a job. Make sure that CV and owner are the same. I was lucky to come across a genuine honest and professional office who realized what was going on and took the trouble to find me and inform me. Authorities are now alert.
More, I followed Elance's advice and checked a few other freelancer websites and apparently I have an accout on OutSourcingRoom.com. The problem is I don't remember creating one.
Again, it is frustrating when others take advantage of your work and experience therefore: TRUST NO ONE AND DOUBLE CHECK.
Thank you proz.com for your professionalism.

Best wishes to all and keep alert.


[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-07-19 22:16 GMT]
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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:11
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
duh, I'm there, too (and didn't know) Jul 18, 2009

Hi Roxana,

thanks for posting this piece of information.

I have just checked on that website and found a profile I haven't created at all with visible data clearly stolen (copied abusively) from another website, I presume ProZ.com from the order they are listed. No really private data are publicly visible, but I do not want to be identified with a site I hadn't visited before, didn't even know it existed.

I have just ordered the prompt removal of my
... See more
Hi Roxana,

thanks for posting this piece of information.

I have just checked on that website and found a profile I haven't created at all with visible data clearly stolen (copied abusively) from another website, I presume ProZ.com from the order they are listed. No really private data are publicly visible, but I do not want to be identified with a site I hadn't visited before, didn't even know it existed.

I have just ordered the prompt removal of my data and name from that site.

Giuliana

PS forgot to add that I have no Elance account and never dreamt of creating one

[Edited at 2009-07-18 13:08 GMT]
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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 16:11
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Hmmm... Jul 18, 2009

Roxana Cazacu wrote:
More, I followed Elance's advice and checked a few other freelancer websites and apparently I have an accout on OutSourcingRoom.com. The problem is I don't remember creating one.


Yes, I just checked OutSourcingRoom.com and it turns out I have a profile there. It contains only my name, city and country, though, otherwise it is empty.

And I can vouch I have never seen that site before. I wrote to them demanding to remove it.

Uldis

[Rediģēts plkst. 2009-07-18 13:41 GMT]


 

irina savescu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 16:11
English to Romanian
i've got two profiles Jul 18, 2009

One taken from proz.com and one from another website (I made the other one when I was living in a different city in Romania). Both of them are empty though.
It seems they were indexed by google pretty recently (29 june) so perhaps there is still time to do something about it.
If you google outsourcingroom all you get is complaints by elance users and warnings for them but I have never had an Elance account. Never even heard about it until today.

[Edited at 2009-07-18 13:35 GMT
... See more
One taken from proz.com and one from another website (I made the other one when I was living in a different city in Romania). Both of them are empty though.
It seems they were indexed by google pretty recently (29 june) so perhaps there is still time to do something about it.
If you google outsourcingroom all you get is complaints by elance users and warnings for them but I have never had an Elance account. Never even heard about it until today.

[Edited at 2009-07-18 13:35 GMT]
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avsie (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:11
English to French
+ ...
OutsourcingRoom Jul 18, 2009

Seems like I have an account there too - even though, like you, I never signed up.

I wonder where they got this information?

[Edited at 2009-07-18 13:31 GMT]


 

Dragana Molnar M.A.  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:11
Italian to German
+ ...
"My" profile is also there... Jul 18, 2009

...and I am absolutely sure that I did not register on that site, and I do not have a profile on Elance (I did't even know about this site until now). Fortunately "my" profile is empty, but they have clearly copied my Proz.com username. Obviously they have harvested not only the Elance database but also the Proz.com profiles. I think that it would be a good idea to inform the Proz.com staff, so they could also move themselves against this obvious fraud.

Roxana,
... See more
...and I am absolutely sure that I did not register on that site, and I do not have a profile on Elance (I did't even know about this site until now). Fortunately "my" profile is empty, but they have clearly copied my Proz.com username. Obviously they have harvested not only the Elance database but also the Proz.com profiles. I think that it would be a good idea to inform the Proz.com staff, so they could also move themselves against this obvious fraud.

Roxana, thank you very much for posting this!
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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:11
Member (2009)
German to Serbian
+ ...
Can't believe they had the nerve Jul 18, 2009

This is why I don't have my CV uploaded on the ProZ profile. I only send it to the outsourcers I scan and select with my own criteria.

Again, very sad and unregulated that these things are happening.

[Edited at 2009-07-18 14:31 GMT]


 

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:11
Swedish to English
+ ...
How do you find "your" accounts? Jul 18, 2009

I google my surname and the site name and got a result that clearly shows they've mined the info from Proz (same user name with a number added and my name presented in the way it's presented here). But when I click on the link I can\t see my name appearing. So I can't actually see "my" account.

 

Eduarda Amorim
Brazil
Local time: 10:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
eLance Jul 18, 2009

I have registered with Elance recently and just got the email about the data theft earlier today. It made me a bit worried - and now that I have heard your stories I am worried indeed! Good job letting everyone know Roxana - I think elance has lost a member here...


Edit: I have checked and there is a fake profile on my name at Outsourcing Room as well. Has anyone found a way to ask for these fake profiles to be deleted?

[Edited at 2009-07-18 14:58 GMT]


 

Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 16:11
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Just go to Jul 18, 2009

OutSourcingRoom.com and type your name in the Search field (at the very top of the first page).

Uldis

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

I google my surname and the site name and got a result that clearly shows they've mined the info from Proz (same user name with a number added and my name presented in the way it's presented here). But when I click on the link I can\t see my name appearing. So I can't actually see "my" account.


 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
Same e-mail here Jul 18, 2009

I got the same e-mail and apparently, they (well, it wasn't me) created an account with the nickname that I use on ebay. Spooky!

 

texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
The problem is here at Proz.com Jul 18, 2009

I just discovered for the second time (the first one was about the Indian translation site, some of you will remember) that my profile was hijacked by another site (OutSourcingRoom.com). While in the first occasion they seemed to have copied and pasted my public profile with “small” alterations, this time my personal information, which by my choice are NOT publicly displayed here at Proz, are instead showed to the world without my knowledge (up to 3 minutes ago) or my permission. ... See more
I just discovered for the second time (the first one was about the Indian translation site, some of you will remember) that my profile was hijacked by another site (OutSourcingRoom.com). While in the first occasion they seemed to have copied and pasted my public profile with “small” alterations, this time my personal information, which by my choice are NOT publicly displayed here at Proz, are instead showed to the world without my knowledge (up to 3 minutes ago) or my permission.

Moreover, it is obvious that the information was retrieved from Proz since on the other site appears my nickname, which I use solely here in order and with the illusion of safeguarding my privacy.

Beside any action I might decide to take against those gentlemen, it is clear that the level of security at Proz.com is inadequate to say the least. I have no intention whatsoever of supporting a site that doesn’t have proper measures in place for safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality its members are entitled to.

From the Proz.com Privacy Statement:


Security of the information

ProZ.com has attempted to create a database that is secure from theft. In order to collect the personal information listed above, it would be necessary for a thief to bypass password protections, etc., that have been put in place to protect user information.

Security

This website takes a number of precautions to protect members' information. When members submit sensitive information via the website, their information is protected both online and off-line.


The problem is much more serious if we consider that some of us use features such as the invoicing tools, in which I wonder if anybody has entered very sensitive data such as a credit card number or social security number, both of which can be used for more fraudulent purposes.
All of these issues cannot be overlooked and underestimated.

I demand a prompt, clear an exhausting explanation about these recurrent “flaws” of the system, and I’d like to ask what action–if any–the site will undertake against the actors of the latest “mass retrieval of information”, and which measures Proz.com intends to implement for avoiding these regrettable episodes from happening again in the future.
If nothing will be done in this regard ultimately I will cancel my membership.

Sincerely,
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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 15:11
English to German
+ ...
In memoriam
Calm down Jul 18, 2009

Roxana Cazacu wrote:

Again, it is frustrating when others take advantage of your work and experience therefore: TRUST NO ONE AND DOUBLE CHECK.


Dear Roxana,

calm down - nobody took advantage of your work and experience. Or have you worked for them and didn't get paid? So what is the damage exactly?
Since the invention of Internet there has been data mining and neither you nor I, let stand any government, will prevent it.
If your data are in the web, they will stay there for many years to come. If you have a profile on a public site like Proz.com, your data are vulnerable to data mining - facts of life.


I doubt, demanding removal will help much. Tomorrow or over a few moths there is new wise guy who will collect your date from somewhere.

Regards

Hans (on the Internet since the early 80's)


 

Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 16:11
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
I see it not as a threat Jul 18, 2009

Hans G. Liepert wrote:
If your data are in the web, they will stay there for many years to come. If you have a profile on a public site like Proz.com, your data are vulnerable to data mining - facts of life.


Sure. And I do not hide my name, nor ever had - if you'll Google it, there will be about... let me see... 9,260 hits (strange, last time I tried it few months ago, it was close to 30 K). But OK, be it as it is.

What is unacceptable is that some bogus site creates a profile in my name without any knowledge by me that such site exists at all. It's just the same like some other on-line-pharmacy spam site which even today had placed me on their Viagra customers list - and yes - you guessed it - "unsubscribe" link though is there, doesn't work.

Uldis

[Rediģēts plkst. 2009-07-18 17:15 GMT]


 
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