Does Connectifier Harvest Contacts From Your Address Book?

Oct 17, 2014
Rolodex - Stock Photo

Editor’s note: Several tweets that were previously embedded in this post have been deleted from Twitter. For that reason, this piece may not make as much sense as it did previously. Sorry for the confusion. Now I know I should take screenshots :). 

SourceCon conferences and the SourceCon blog are great places to hear about the tools sourcers and recruiters are using in the trenches. Earlier this month, Mark Tortorici plugged several of his favorite tools during his SourceCon Denver session. This resulted in a blog post from one of the attendees which listed some of the tools Mark mentioned. After reading the post, several founders of sourcing technology companies voiced sharp criticism of one of the tools, Connectifier, and of Mark Tortorici for mentioning the company on the SourceCon stage.

Below are a few of the tweets that were shared.

Marc Drees is founder of and Peter Kazanjy is founder of Talentbin.

Below is more of the conversation.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 11.55.07 AM Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 11.55.54 AM

So, what is Connectifier doing? If they are stealing data from users without their knowledge, this is something we should take seriously.

Dean Da Costa, a SourceCon contributor and respected expert on sourcing and recruiting tools, discussed Connectifier for a few minutes this week when he was a guest on the Recruiting Animal Show. Dean doesn’t agree that Connectifier steals data from address books. When asked about this issue, Dean responded, “If they do (steal data), they’re not doing a good job.” He then went on to explain that he has a “boatload of contacts” in his address book that Connectifer doesn’t have. You can listen to the conversation below.


Connectifier didn’t weigh in on Twitter so I reached out to John Jersin, founder and CEO, for a statement.


Always good to hear from you. Here are my thoughts on the Twitter conversation you pointed me to.

The day Connectifier’s first beta user signed-up, we already had more candidates matched to contact information in our database than any competitive product. At the time, TalentBin and Entelo had 900k and 2 million contactable profiles respectively. We were already closing in on 10 million.

From the start, we’ve heard this question: how did a new company beat the more established players on this key metric? There is a fairly simple answer: we have a stellar engineering team. Take our first non-Google hire, Kevin Keck. Kevin spent 8 years at Berkeley National Lab, one of the premier national research laboratories, where he was a major contributor to international standards related to semantic search. What sets Connectifier apart more than is that our team is comprised exclusively of engineers of that same caliber (see here). 

Our competitors like to claim that most of our data comes from users. It doesn’t. They would also have you believe that we require users to upload contacts in order to use Connectifier. We don’t. If you want to, you can connect to your Gmail account so you and your team can see a bit more of your contact history in Connectifier. Anyone who does this will see notices that they are opting in to share data with us, and roughly 1.5% of their contact data actually ends up getting shared, and that’s the only way we ever share information from any of our users. The vast majority of what we do are the same things TalentBin and Entelo have always done, we just achieve much better results.

If you look at your smartphone right now, many of your favorite apps were built by Connectifier customers–and in doing their diligence before licensing our product, and in many cases conducting a thorough security review, they have each been satisfied with the way Connectifier operates. An increasing number of these companies are beginning to use Connectifier as their primary recruiting platform, and we have never lost a customer to date. 

I’m always happy to talk about how it is that we’ve been so successful; it’s just a much simpler story than our competitors seem to hope for. I must say, if how we do so well is the primary question about our business, I have to be pretty happy about that. 

All the best,
John Jersin
CEO, Connectifier

What do you think? Do you trust Chrome extensions and other tools with your data? How do you protect yourself when you download tools like Connectifier?

image credit: bigstock
Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!