Users Rail on Glassdoor for 'Breach of Trust'

Company review site seems to have attached real names to profiles without consent
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2024 9:06 AM CDT
Users Say Glassdoor Added Real Names Without Their OK
A Glassdoor roundtable is held on April 12, 2016, at the Times Center in New York.   (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Glassdoor)

Glassdoor was recently named one of the most innovative companies in the nation by Fast Company, but some users aren't too pleased these days with the employer review site. "Time to delete your Glassdoor account," one software professional named Monica wrote in a recent blog post, upset to find that the company has been attaching real names to user profiles without user consent, despite the fact that Glassdoor reviews are meant to be anonymous, reports Ars Technica.

  • Monica's story: She says she has already vanished her own decade-old Glassdoor profile after sending an email to the Glassdoor support team to have info removed from her account. Instead, she notes, the company swiped her real name from her email address and tacked that onto her profile, raising "potential concerns about data privacy and anonymity," an Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney tells Ars Technica.

  • Clarification: Mashable notes that user names aren't displayed publicly on a user's profile (they're simply tied on the back end to the account), but some users fear they could still be unmasked if there's a leak, hack, or subpoena from law enforcement. Glassdoor's most recent terms say the company can update user profiles if users, say, upload their resumes, or that it may update a profile "with information we obtain from third parties."
  • 'Breach of trust': That's how Glassdoor user Josh Simmons describes it to TechCrunch, noting he has no clue how the company got his personal info. "I didn't have any social accounts connected to Glassdoor, and I hadn't used the service in several years," he says. Simmons speculates his data may have been scraped from the internet, as there was an "incoherent mix of details" attached to his profile, although "each detail was correct in isolation." "It signaled to me that it was the result of an automated process," he notes.
  • Glassdoor's take: In a statement, the company insists it's still a champion for user anonymity. "Reviews on Glassdoor have always and will always be anonymous," it says. "Glassdoor has never and will never reveal a user's name alongside their content, unless that is what the user chooses." TechCrunch notes the company declined to answer "specific questions, including how—if at all—Glassdoor verifies the accuracy of the information it receives, or how it can be used or obtained."
More here, including how Glassdoor's acquisition of the Fishbowl networking platform may have exacerbated the issue. (More Glassdoor stories.)

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