This is an update on yesterday’s “identity theft” post. I wrote that I had sent an email to the offending website. That was true, but I did not actually write the email. Instead, I told Kuba what I wanted to say, and he put it into proper written Czech for me. He also gave the email a more polite tone than I might have.
This morning when I got into work there was an answer to my email waiting for me.
The email, which was signed in a cowardly manner by “the fakedatabase.cz team” rather than by a person, informed me that they do not need my permission to use my name because they had taken it from a publicly accessible database – www.rzp.cz, which is the trade licence register of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The email went on to say that of course they could delete my name from their list, but that I would have to send them a written letter requesting that they do so, so that they could be sure that I was the “oprávněná osoba” – the entitled person.
In the meantime, Kuba had found the owner of the website, who I was sure was the same individual that had signed himself “the fakedatabase.cz team”. It didn’t take long to confirm for my own purposes that he speaks English. So I chose to write him back myself.
Dear Dick Head,
I have already once asked you to remove my name from your website. I am asking you again – please do it immediately. A written letter will no more assure you that I am the entitled person than my name on an email. And perhaps you noticed that the signature line on my email shows that I work in a law firm. After I have sent this email to you, I will be phoning the Office for the Protection of Personal Data. I suggest that in future you obtain people’s permission before publishing any of their personal information on your website.
Thank you for your prompt co-operation.
Results thus far: my name is still on the website, and no one in the Data Protection Office is picking up the phone.