Glassdoor Under Fire for Reportedly Adding Real Names to Profiles Without Consent

Glassdoor, the jobs website acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion in 2018, allows employees to leave anonymous, honest reviews about their employers — and had a history of protecting its users against legal pressures from corporations.

But a new report found that Glassdoor has been adding real names to user profiles without consent, per Ars Technica.

The saga began when Monica, a Midwest-based software professional who did not disclose her last name, wrote a March 12 blog post saying they joined Glassdoor 10 years ago and have contributed reviews. But earlier this month, after emailing support to request help removing information from their account, their real name was added to their profile.

Monica claims the support team took their real name from the email request.

Related: The Co-Founder of Glassdoor Shares How To Stop Other People From Controlling Your Time

“Glassdoor now requires your real name and will add it to older accounts without your consent if they learn it, and your only option is to delete your account,” the post said.

The post has since prompted backlash against Glassdoor as users worry about giving personally identifiable information to the company — and possibly getting fired for giving reviews about their current employers.

Legacy users like Monica didn’t have to input their real names when accessing Glassdoor originally — only an email address. The changes began when the company started integrating social features from Fishbowl, an app for workplace-related conversation, which is also owned by its parent company, in July.

Glassdoor’s terms of use, revised last month, state that portions of a user’s profile, including their names and profile pictures, “may be visible to other users and the public.” In certain circumstances, users can share their profiles with third parties, but Glassdoor reassures them that their profiles “will not publicly include or link” to the content they submit “semi-/anonymously.”

Glassdoor’s privacy policy states the company may collect profile information, including names, resumes, ages, pictures, phone numbers, connected social media, and more from its users.

Related: Meta and Apple Aren’t on Glassdoor’s List of Best Places to Work This Year — and the Company That Snagged the No. 1 Spot Might Surprise You

After the integration began, Glassdoor started requiring users to disclose their full names, job titles, and employers. Several legacy users who hadn’t shared their full names with Glassdoor found when they logged on that their names had been added to their profiles without them knowing, according to Wired.

“You can’t both be verified and anonymous,” Albert Fox Cahn, founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, a pro-privacy organization, told Wired. “You can’t both be a social network and a confidential reporting space. You can do one of those well, or you can do both of them badly.”

Glassdoor did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.

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