A Google worker last month posted on an internal forum that they’d recently learned the company was sharing detailed payroll information with Equifax, a data broker infamous for getting hacked and losing the data of millions of people in 2017.
Why exactly was Google doing that, and what could the company do to make sure workers’ information wasn’t being shared against their will? The post attracted attention internally, according to two workers who participated in the virtual town hall and spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, and employees voted for it as one of the top questions they wanted executives to answer at the company’s regular town hall meeting.
It turns out Google was not alone in sharing that data. Many companies send their employees’ payroll information to Equifax’s The Work Number service to offload the hassle of work verification requests, often without them actively knowing about it.
Google declined to comment about its data sharing with Equifax when asked for comment by The Washington Post, but it told concerned employees that such sharing is a “common practice.” Just like its now ubiquitous surveillance practices!