I was recently contacted by a recruiter who told me she was looking for a
frontend candidate and was impressed with my Gild profile.
"Gild profile?" I asked myself. "What is a Gild?"
My thoughts immeditely went to such websites as Coderwall, LinkedIn, and
GitHub, where I opt-in to provide my information in return for professional
connections with other engineers. Of course, this ends up a valuable tool for
recruiters as well. "Perhaps," thought I, "this is like Klout, scraping public
information." Weird, but not a big deal. So, I did a quick search and found
Gild is none of these things. Gild is a company which scrapes public
information- such as that in my open source commits- and compiles a private
profile so it may sell my email and accumulated information in a package to
The problem with this is that there is no way to know that you're listed in
Gild, and the attempts I have made to remove myself have thus far ended in
"please call us to discuss how to advance your career" and "we can discuss what
information is in your profile on the phone."
Here's a list of the emails that have been sent thus far regarding this matter:
Thanks for reaching out to us!
Gild gathers its information from public data found on sites like
Github, StackOverflow, LinkedIn, etc. I understand that you might have
concerns about the data we have and how we collect it. If you'd like, we
can hop on a call this week and chat through Gild Source and I can answer
any of your questions. I'd also love to hear your thoughts on how Gild can
better serve you in terms of your own career progression.
Let me know if you have some free time - I'm pretty open this week from 10-5 p.m PDT.
Thanks again for reaching out!
To which I replied:
I suppose my primary concern is that you're taking public data and hiding
it; and I, as the subject of a hidden profile, am neither aware of its
existence or what's in it. A long-term plan for you may be to have an
"employee" view whereupon one can see one's own profile and limited
information on others.
Making it super clear on your website who to contact and where to get a
copy of one's own information and where to opt out would be a great first
on that I could find. Every person who I talked to was somewhere between
shocked and outraged that this exists, and that there's no way to see in
without paying. I specifically was miffed because, while I don't really
take action to hide things like my email address, it's used within the
context of things like open source software development and isn't really
meant to be used for recruiter spam. (That's what my LinkedIn account is
for.) While all of the information you have has indeed been publicly
provided by me, the context in which the information is used is lost when
it's compiled into a single profile, and allows individuals outside who I
trust with my information to use that information for marketing / recruiter
spam / who knows what.
That said; what's a good way to see what information you have, and what way
I could remove myself from your site? How can I validate that I will not be
indexed again? (I don't doubt your propriety, but, to wear a tin foil hat
and stretch the possibilities, one could even imagine a hidden profile of
oneself painted in a negative fashion, thus harming my relationship with
potential employers; a blacklist of sorts.)
Thank you so much for your feedback, you have brought up some good points
and I will be sure to be pass this feedback along to our team. While we
don't have a way for developers to look at their Gild Profiles right now,
we're exploring ways for developers to participate and contribute. I'd be
happy to talk to you about what's in your Gild Profile and would love to
hear your thoughts on what information you would find valuable from Gild as
we explore this option.
Please let me know if you have some time next week to get on a quick call
so that talk more about the information on your Gild Profile and address
any concerns. If after that session, you would like to opt out of Gild, we
can definitely do that. We would love to hear your thoughts on how Gild can
work along with the developer community.
Thank you and have a great weekend.
I've replied and asked for a call later this week, and will update as we talk