Anonymous company review site Glassdoor can add your real name without telling you

Glassdoor – an online site that allows users to leave anonymous reviews of their previous employers – is facing criticism after reportedly adding names to profiles without user consent.

The website, which was launched in 2007, has been accused of putting people at risk of backlash from employers and not protecting their privacy.

The action was reported by an anonymous user, named Monica, who shared the news in a blog post titled “Time to delete your Glassdoor account and data”.

In the lengthy blog post, she explained that the company now requires users to include their real name “and will add it to older accounts without your consent if they learn it”.

“They do not care that this puts people at risk with their employers. They do not care that this seems to run counter to their own data-privacy policies,” she wrote.

Monica went on to explain that she had realised the action had been taken to add her real name to older accounts on Glassdoor after responding to a recent support email from the company.

“I found that they had updated my profile to add my real name and location, the name pulled from the email ‘From’ line. I never gave consent for that change, and said so explicitly when I objected.”

She added: “I was so fixated on my name that I didn’t immediately notice my city was there too. I don’t know how long it’s been there.”

According to Wired, in July last year, Glassdoor added new social features integrated from Fishbowl, an app for work-related discussions acquired in 2021.

The company has historically only required email addresses to set up accounts but has now changed its sign-up process to ask people to disclose their full name, job title, and employer, the outlet reported.

Glassdoor allows users to leave anonymous reviews of previous employers

(Getty Images)

In her blog post, Monica said she had been told by members of the company’s “lead, content and community team” that a Fishbowl account had already been set up for her using her data.

She was ultimately told that the only way to remove the information from the platform would be to delete her account, and the data, entirely.

An email from Glassdoor staff, cited in her blog post, read: “We treat all users equally when it comes to what is eligible to be placed on the profile and what is not, but we know that there are times our users, such as yourself, may not always agree with us.

“If you are not willing to allow your name on your profile, you will again need to complete Data erasure once you are able to. However, we cannot remove this for you or make the changes you wish to see for your name.”

The Independent has reached out to Glassdoor for comment on the reported changes to user account anonymity.

In a statement to Ars Technica, a spokesperson for the company said: “When a user provides information, either during the sign-up process or by uploading a resume, that information will automatically cross-populate between all Glassdoor services, including our community app Fishbowl.

“When using Glassdoor and Fishbowl, there is always the option to remain anonymous. Users can choose to be fully anonymous or reveal elements of their identity, like company name or job title, while using our community service.”

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