Inappropriate texts

Didn’t they receive all the emails about the General Data Protection Regulation? Didn’t they receive numerous communications about privacy and the protection of personal data? Didn’t they hear any of the discussion of how much more care there would need to be in sharing information? Didn’t they understand that using personal information without the permission of the person concerned is something that can now be penalised?

An SMS text arrived this morning,

Hi “recipient’s name”,

How are things with you? How long have you got of your maternity left? “Company name” doing well. Wanted to have a chat with you about a 1 week holiday cover in July actually and the potential for a flexible part time role a bit later in the year? Don’t know if you’d be interested but you were the first person I thought of???? xxx xxx

Even without the advent of GDPR and all the protections it introduced, what does the message say about the competence of the company?

The sender seems to have vague knowledge of the circumstances of the recipient. “How long have you got of your maternity left?” asks the sender. Presumably the recipient is on maternity leave from another employer, otherwise the possible answer to the question would not need to have been sought. Is there a suggestion that the work being offered is whilst the maternity leave continues? Is the “flexible part time role a bit later in the year” a hint of something over and above the recipient’s regular employment? If the company named in the text is doing well, why is it making such approaches to members of the staff of another company?

More importantly, though, aside from the competence or otherwise of the sender’s company, what happened to basic respect for a person’s privacy? If communication by text message was thought appropriate, why was there not a simple text asking for permission to call, or to send an email, or even to write a letter? Instead, a text was sent that disclosed the recipient’s name; that disclosed that the recipient had recently had a baby; that disclosed the sender’s company; that implied that the recipient might be open to employment with a company other than the one to which they were currently contracted; that suggested the sender’s company might be open to “flexible” employment terms, whatever that might imply. Repeated breaches of privacy.

Who would want to work for an employer that sent such inappropriate texts and sent them to the wrong number?

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