Hi guys, what’s up? Had you been thinking about that new job at your Digital Transformation Office? Digital KoolAid has been looking into the process. Let’s check it.
When you head round to the DTO Blog and decide to work on Stuff That Matters (STM) you can UX a brand new application process. If you’ve applied for an APS position in the past you’ll notice a few changes straight up. In fact most everything has changed, starting with compliance to Commonwealth recruitment policy, detailed selection criteria, advertising in the Gazette and even writing an application. Applications are being accepted on line. Just up-load your resume and briefly answer a couple of questions about yourself and why you are interested in the DTO. Click Apply Online and scroll down. Done! But it gets really interesting when you start to think about information management, personal data security and who actually has your data after you “send” it to the DTO – because you don’t.
That will make more sense when you discover the guys from recruiterbox.com. Sure the reference flashed by at the bottom of your browser and you hardly noticed. It’s worth investigating because Recruiter Box Inc is a software services company. The DTO blog page you were reading contained a reference to their web service (check the HTML for details). The form you filled out was generated by them but you won’t notice. If you did perhaps you guessed it was located in Canberra, or at least in Australia. Sorry, because it’s located in the USA. You’re in Australia and your STM is in the USA? Yes, your DTO likes it that way, and then it gets more interesting. Your data is in the hands of a private company, not The Commonwealth. You don’t control any of it. So let’s look at who does and what you gave them to see if you should be alarmed (you should).
You gave a company in the USA with whom you have no legal relationship all the following personal data, because they said it was mandatory:
- Your First Name and Last Name
- Your Email address
- Your Phone number
- Your Australian citizenship status
- Your preferred work location (perhaps the city where you live)
- Details about three of your work achievements (perhaps details of your past employers)
- Details of how you think you will help the DTO transform Australian Government services.
- A copy of your resume
Plus, maybe you voluntarily gave them these things too (sure everyone wants to impress):
- Your LinkedIn Profile
- Your Twitter Handle
- Your Website / Blog / Portfolio
So now they know a lot about you, but the guys at recruiterbox.com don’t want you to know very much about them They mask their WHOIS record to keep you in the dark. If you dig a little deper you’ll find there’s 36 people in their team and 28 of them are in Bangalore in India. But it’s not n Indian company. It turns out that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla knows that Recruiterbox Inc is actually incorporated in the USA, with operations in California, where he runs the companies office. Here’s their details:
Turns out Recruiterbox Inc is a thing called a Delaware Corporation, which is a well-known tax haven in the USA because Delaware charges no income tax on corporations not operating within the state. This is what the people at The New York Times say about Delaware: “Big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues, scoundrels and worse — all have turned up at Delaware addresses in hopes of minimizing taxes, skirting regulations, plying friendly courts or, when needed, covering their tracks.” They say that USA authorities worry that “in addition to the legitimate businesses flocking here, drug traffickers, embezzlers and money launderers are increasingly heading to Delaware”. Plus “Officials in the Cayman Islands, a favorite Caribbean haunt of secretive hedge funds, say Delaware is today playing faster and looser than the offshore jurisdictions.” Maybe you think they’re just the right guys to securely store all your private data? Well maybe think some more. Digital KoolAid sees a few potential problems: like ever getting your STM back, or deleted or changed or feeling like you control it at all. You don’t.
So before you apply for that new job at your DTO it’s time to decide if it’s cool for your DTO to give Australian tax dollars to foreign companies in tax havens, and store your private data with potential tax avoiders on file servers outside Australia where you can’t ever control it. And perhaps there’s something to say about how your DTO prefers to buy stuff from US/Indian companies rather than spend your tax dollars with Aussie start-ups. But let’s jump over that thought really quickly. It has to be another blog post.
Here’s the streetscape at 739 BRYANT ST #206, San Francisco, CA 94107 to give you an idea where your personal details and STM will be “securely” stored. Looks secure to us too …..