By Tony Lee
Note: I am not a lawyer, there are probably no laws broken here, and I am sure many will say that this is how the sales industry works. However I disagree with the way our data is being collected and sold. If you disagree as well, at least you can take it away from one organization that sells it.
Recently, I was experiencing an uptick in cold calls * to my personal cell phone * from sales reps trying to pitch enterprise technology products. Please note that I understand that Business development (BD) / inside sales is a tough job and I don’t fault the reps themselves for doing their jobs. However, these calls to my cell phone were often occurring during dinner or even late into the evening when time should be spent with family. It was getting as bad as the car warranty calls and you know how frustrating those can become. After asking the last few reps where they received my cell phone number, they said that I was just a record in their SalesForce database and they thought it was an office desk phone. When I asked what fed their SalesForce database, they all said the same thing: ZoomInfo.
What is ZoomInfo?
According to ZoomInfo, they create “profiles of business people and companies, which we call “Public Profiles,” from different sources. Once we have collected business information about a person or company, we combine multiple mentions of the same person or company into a Public Profile. The resulting directory of Public Profiles is then made available to the users of the site and our customers and strategic partners.” Source: https://www.zoominfo.com/b2b/faqs/data/how-does-zoominfo-get-my-info
In short, ZoomInfo appears to source data from “publicly available” sites (and who knows where else), augments it with purchased data, and then sells that data to populate customer contact databases for sales purposes. I believe this is a serious privacy concern since this is not something that I opted into. And more importantly I certainly did not opt into receiving phone calls from numerous sales reps on my personal cell phone – yet it is happening and ZoomInfo is the distributor of my personal data.
How to tell if ZoomInfo has your data
The easiest way to see if ZoomInfo has your data is to go to Google and search for zoominfo, your name, followed by your company name as shown in the screenshot below.
Ex: zoominfo <your name> <your company name>