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Sunday, May 7, 2017

WHAT IS LINKEDIN DOING WITH YOUR PERSONAL DATA & CONTACTS?

Re:       Demand Letter and Notification in Violation of Laws Against “Restraint of Trade”

Dear Sirs:

I’m writing you as service of a “demand letter” if you will.  I say that because business and politics have become such so that if one doesn’t have a “Linkedin profile” it’s almost as if that person doesn’t exist.  The world has reached a point where even on a simple job interview I’m now being told if I don’t have a “Linkedin profile” that I won’t even be considered for the job.

I’ve seen this kind of “list” using before actually.  Years ago when the Catholic Bishops were trying to control every sex trafficking resource in this country, people in the field were told they “could not do business with anyone who was not in the Freedom Registry”. 

Trying to ascertain what the “Freedom Registry” was, I found out it was a list of companies and professionals who were “anti-abortion” in their views and business practices.  When the ACLU won the lawsuit against the Catholic Bishops removing their financial control over these people, and of course once light was shed upon this practice, the whole “Freedom Registry” became moot.  It was never “openly” discussed what this list was – but this was what “insiders” told me was the reason for this when I was trying to find out why I was being blacklisted from it then.

Lately, I’ve found the same thing has been happening with respect to a “Linkedin profile”.  I operate Sex Workers Anonymous, and their hotline, as I have since 1987.  It was our work, our group, and our people who sparked the modern day sex trafficking revolution and thus achieving federal recognition of this fact with the passing of the Trafficking Act of 2000.  This is a “volunteer” position I hold as I receive no salary, grants, income, etc.  Meaning I also have to work a job in order to pay my rent.  Work I’m finding a much harder time getting lately because of not having a Linkedin profile page more and more.

Because of who I am, and the powerful people who oppose our work, I’ve found I’ve had to work “freelance” to support myself since 1988 after going “toe to toe” with fighting the expansion of legal brothels into California.  We won that fight, but I soon found the only way I was able to obtain work past that point was of a “freelance” nature.  There was no point in getting hired anyway at a “regular” job as my employers would soon get a “visit” from someone who would then threaten them if I wasn’t fired.  So freelance became the way I’ve had to support not just myself, but also our SWA operations that I pay for out of my own earnings also being as those who come to us for help never have any money of their own.

Work that has become increasingly difficult for me to obtain without having a “Linkedin” profile any longer.  Why?  Because your company turned around and denied me service a few years ago claiming I had “violated your terms of service”. 

Well I hadn’t - so I demanded to know WHAT “terms of service” had  I violated in response to that news.  To which your company then told me basically “for me to know and you to find out”.  Meaning you just had terminated my service and were refusing to give me any solid grounds for that denial because you know, and I know, I had not violated any of your “terms of service”.  Which I find especially laughable seeing as I see the open engagement of sex workers and porn stars on your site freely operating – so I found you denying my service quite interesting.

But I went about setting up a page for my personal use to find work.  I was denied service after three days for again supposedly “terms of service violation”.  When all I’d done at that point was set up a profile – I found that an interesting claim and again asked you “what terms of service did I violate”?  To which you also refused to respond. 

I then set about opening up new pages using different emails and different credit cards – but you clearly had targeted my IP address by this point in time.  No matter what name I used, what email account or what bank card I used – your company was now refusing to even allow me to open even a free account to even VIEW profiles on your site by this time.

Going to a coffee shop so I would have another IP address, I found I was able to then view your profile using a free account.  However, when I tried to sign up again, this time your company insisted they would “only do so if I showed you a drivers license”.  Now you may not know this, but I have documented now through police reports more than one death threat, and even a bomb threat, against my life because of my work.  I have reasons why I’m careful about things like my home address, my drivers license, my photos of myself, etc. 

This isn’t just for my work either.  My grandmother was murdered when I was only 11 years old.  The man who murdered her has sworn to kill me also.  Over the years, I’ve documented this man trying to find out where I live using my school records, drivers license information, credit reports, and other methods he’s used to try and find out where I live for who knows what purpose since he was released after only a five year prison term for that murder. 

California is very aware of the need for some womens’ privacy when it comes to their personal information, now allowing that one can obtain a license now using a postal service rather than their home in order to protect their safety.  Meaning I just don’t hand out my drivers license information to anyone these days that asks for it and that’s my right to do so to protect myself. 

I run an “anonymous” program.  As such, our members should not have to also show a “drivers license” in order to have a Linkedin profile either.  Meaning I object greatly to the idea that I would have to show you my personal drivers license, along with also showing you my photo and home address on that document, in order to get a profile on your site.  Which you’ve also provided me with no guarantee that even if I show you this document will you then grant me a profile either.

But the point remains that it now has become something I can document has been hindering my work with SWA, my outreach work for victims, as well as even my ability to find simple work these days doing freelance paralegal work.  There are even now politicians I can’t reach except through a Linkedin contact – all being blocked now because your site won’t allow me to have even a simple profile.

I have now tried five different times to simply open an account through your site, only to be denied access for “terms of service” when I haven’t even finished opening the account yet.  In other words, it’s no different than me being allowed a seat on the bus or a table in a diner if this were the 1950’s south.

And I have a problem with that.  Because I can now document more than one job that has told me they won’t even look at my resume without a Linkedin profile.  I’ve been told I have been refused even communications with some law enforcement agencies and politicians “except” through Linkedin.  So what’s happening here now is that I am now suffering from “economic interference” by your company and I don’t know why because you won’t give me an answer.

If I was doing something “wrong” I would understand your denial.  But even just opening up an account, you’ve been blocking me from doing so.  You also know you’re wrong and that’s why you’ve refused to give me an answer as to what I supposedly “violated” when you have cut me off.  Considering the abuses I’ve seen your company is doing with personal information, I’m also not about to turn you over my drivers license either in order to get service.  Service which you might then yank again at will for no valid reason even after I provide you with this.

So, this is a formal demand letter.  I want to be able to set up a page for my work with Sex Workers Anonymous; a page for SWAN, the program that works with family members’ Sexual Exploitation Anonymous, that works with juvenile victims of sex trafficking; another page for me as an author of the literature for these programs; a personal page for myself; and a page for my services doing freelance consultation and paralegal work to pay the bills around here.  The use of “multiple pages” does not mean I’m committing “fraud”.  It means I’m a multi-talented person who works for a living and also does volunteer work. 

This also applies to our members.  I’ve had more than one person on our board try and open an account for SWA – only to also be denied for no valid reason from even opening a page for SWA.  You’ve also asked them for a drivers license in order to open them a page.  After talking to other members of your site, you haven’t required a drivers license from them to have an account.  Once I saw this article, http://recruitingdaily.com/linkedin-hiringsolved-care-even-youre-recruiting/ I see lots of people question what you’re doing with “personal data” also.

So please accept this letter as formal demand for me to be allowed to have a Linkedin profile set up for my professional, and personal use, within five days of receipt of this letter.  If I’m not allowed to set up these pages, and use your service like any other customer, then I will be filing a lawsuit for “restriction of trade” against your company.  As a paralegal for 30 years, please know I do not need an attorney to litigate my personal legal matters.  Since I write the papers most of the attorney’s use in court, I have no problem defending myself endlessly on the issue “in pro per”.  Since I’ve actually helped others win many a case against top lawyers using my legal skills – I’m not afraid of litigating this matter myself personally should I have to. 

Please be advised in Mitchel v Reynolds (1711) Lord Smith LC said,[1]

“it is the privilege of a trader in a free country, in all matters not contrary to law, to regulate his own mode of carrying it on according to his own discretion and choice. If the law has regulated or restrained his mode of doing this, the law must be obeyed. But no power short of the general law ought to restrain his free discretion.”

Meaning I have grounds upon which to sue you for “restriction of trade” should you keep denying myself and SWA member profiles. 

This letter will appear on my blog also until I’m answered with the response I’m allowed to open a page for my work and myself, as well as our members being allowed to identify as such also without their accounts being shut down as you’ve done to them.  Once our pages are allowed up, then I’ll take this down off our social media.

If you have any questions or comments about this, please contact me at the above contact information.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Jody Williams



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