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antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Salary details of ONE THIRD of Americans shared with Equifax

»www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article···ime.html

"Salary details of ONE THIRD of Americans shared with credit agency Equifax in 'biggest privacy breach in our time'

Over 190 million employment and salary records of American citizens have been shared by their employers with credit rating agencies
This allows anyone signing up to their subsidiary companies to view salary and health insurance details of one-third of adults in the U.S..."
--
Ant @ AQFL.net and AntFarm.ma.cx. Please do not IM/e-mail me for technical support. Use this forum or better, »community.norton.com ! Disclaimer: The views expressed in this posting are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

"Breach" is not the right word, because this suggests an unintentional act. This was intentional, which suggests a far stronger word whose precise definition so far escapes me.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to antdude
I agree with Steve See Profile. This is completely intentional.

It's you, who is not allowed to know salary of your coworker or friend. Because if you knew it, you'd want to get a better deal from your employer (or even change one). It's them, employers, who want to keep it in secret from you, employee.

Now, doesn't it become logical and explain, why credit report agencies collect and share that info between companies (employees)? They work in their behalf, not yours... And doesn't that explain why they don't want you to share that info?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


red2

@fastwebnet.it
reply to Steve
said by Steve:

"Breach" is not the right word, because this suggests an unintentional act. This was intentional, which suggests a far stronger word whose precise definition so far escapes me.

Perhaps the word you are looking for is "divulged", which suggests the making known of something that might have been secretive.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
reply to OZO
Was reading on LinkedIn about companies who are doing just that - making the info on salary visible to all. With VERY clear job roles and salary levels. IF a person thinks they belong in a different level - then they can ask about it and talk about it with their managers.

It seems to be working well for a number of the companies.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to antdude
I can't believe this is legal. Is there really nothing to protect an employee in the US from having their employer share personal data with third, fourth, and "who knows what" parties?


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

reply to Steve
said by Steve:

"Breach" is not the right word, because this suggests an unintentional act. This was intentional, which suggests a far stronger word whose precise definition so far escapes me.

I'd suggest a simple word pair instead: "trust betrayal"... as in 'biggest privacy trust betrayal in our time'. Particularly since employees have a trust that their employer will behave with integrity to guard the personal information they've entrusted to him - and this is anything but fulfilling such trust.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to antdude
couldnt the release of the health insurance details without consent put them at risk of some HIPAA rules?
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 recommendation

You would think - since I can't even pick up my wife's report for the meds she takes to claim for FSA...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Clearwire Wireless

2 recommendations

reply to Steve
said by Steve:

"Breach" is not the right word, because this suggests an unintentional act. This was intentional, which suggests a far stronger word whose precise definition so far escapes me.

The word is "sellout"
as in
"biggest privacy sellout in our time"


ashrc4
Premium
join:2009-02-06
australia

1 edit
reply to antdude
The only way forward for "Equifax" would be to constantly update it's data. Providing false/outdated info to employers, Debt Collectors and prospective renters may start legal actions for potential employee's or Debtor's that get unfair decisions made against them based on false data that Equifax provides.

The scope of Equifax's profiling is already too large for the type of info it offers on people.
"Equi" in Equifax must be short for "Equity" or it's an oxymoron.
To offer this type of information on only some people and with varying scope is far from
"Equitable".
One must ask why some organizations paid "Equifax" to have their data and to whom these "Private" Citizens" consist of.
quote:
Many of them let Equifax tap directly into their data so the credit bureau can always have the latest employment information. In fact, these organizations actually pay Equifax for the privilege of giving away their employees' personal information.

EDIT;added "and with varying scope"


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5
said by ashrc4:

One must ask why some organizations paid "Equifax" to have their data and to whom these "Private" Citizens" consist of.

Employers are outsourcing the servicing of reference checks: if I apply to BigCo for a job and claim that I previously worked for MediumCo, they can check my references because MediumCo exported my payroll data to Equifax - they know when I worked there and how much I made.

This is superficially a useful business service.


ashrc4
Premium
join:2009-02-06
australia

2 edits
said by Steve:

said by ashrc4:

One must ask why some organizations paid "Equifax" to have their data and to whom these "Private" Citizens" consist of.

Employers are outsourcing the servicing of reference checks: if I apply to BigCo for a job and claim that I previously worked for MediumCo, they can check my references because MediumCo exported my payroll data to Equifax - they know when I worked there and how much I made.

This is superficially a useful business service.

I really want the breakdown on "who" does it include, executive salary's, small/medium/large Co's. etc.
Looking for bias.
Do Co's. provide different levels of info per position held, does "Equifax" value info on certain individuals pay/circumstance.
EDIT: below added.
Employers, rental agencies and debt collectors will unintentionally bias one person over another if VARYING AMOUNTS of information are available on individuals. If the collection of information is weighted on peoples economic or default status etc then certain individuals it will impact more/less and dependent further on who's choosing to report it to them.
A person who chooses to run bad credit with a local porn broker (who doesn't report), regardless of salary will appear more favorable than someone with lower income who only has a minor default.
Etc, etc.


Steve
I know your IP address
Consultant
join:2001-03-10
Foothill Ranch, CA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

said by ashrc4:

I really want the breakdown (etc)

(Snark mode on)
You're not the customer, so you don't count.
(/snark)


ashrc4
Premium
join:2009-02-06
australia

2 recommendations

said by Steve:

said by ashrc4:

I really want the breakdown (etc)

(Snark mode on)
You're not the customer, so you don't count.
(/snark)

Some with authority are already eying this one.
quote:
That’s right: debt collectors—the very companies that a new Federal Trade Commission study just found don’t bother to verify alleged debts in half of the cases studied—and yes, the same companies widely denounced for their harassing and abusive practices in pursuit of debts consumers may have paid off long ago or may never have owed—may now have access every detail of your employment history.

Yet even as Equifax and its debt collector customers cash in on data about the pay rates of millions of Americans, employees themselves can’t share information about their own paychecks so freely. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nearly half of U.S. employees are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their own pay with their colleagues. Pay non-disclosure rules aimed at employees are a significant barrier to preventing gender and racial discrimination at work—as the ACLU points out “workers often remain in the dark about pay discrimination because employers have rules that punish employees for voluntarily sharing wage information with their colleagues.” For just that reason, Senator Barbara Mikulski has called on President Obama to issue an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss salaries amongst themselves. Similarly, the National Labor Relations Board recently struck down provisions in Costco’s employee handbook that barred employees from sharing personal salary information with coworkers. Unfortunately, this ruling was thrown into limbo when a court struck down President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB.

»prospect.org/article/equifax-kno···bout-you

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2

nearly half of U.S. employees are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their own pay with their colleagues.

Hmmm, interesting... Why is that?

Why employees are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their own pay with their colleagues, while the employers are free to share that info with third party companies?

ashrc4 See Profile, thank you for this interesting excerpt.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


Blackbird
Built for Speed
Premium
join:2005-01-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

said by OZO:

nearly half of U.S. employees are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their own pay with their colleagues.

Hmmm, interesting... Why is that? Why employees are either contractually forbidden or strongly discouraged from discussing their own pay with their colleagues, while the employers are free to share that info with third party companies? ...

The rationale I was given when I worked under such a rule was that disclosing one's pay to other workers breeds envy and jealousy among co-workers doing what superficially appears to be similar work, but who aren't being paid the same for various legitimate (to the company) reasons. In many scenarios, teamwork is highly important, if not critical. If one worker has to step in for, or work in parallel with, another worker on certain joint or identical tasks but is being paid a lower scale, it can stir resentment between them that interferes with the work being done. Likewise, a worker may not grasp why another worker in a different position is legitimately paid as highly as he might be for the kind of work and effort he appears (to the observing worker) to put forth. The ethic behind the rule is that a given worker agrees to do a job with an employer for a certain pay, and that's the end of the arrangement... what other workers are paid is an agreement between each of them and the employer, not some third-party worker, so it's nobody else's business - particularly if it leads to dissension and inefficiency in the workplace. The principle is that perception of a worker's value to a company is reflected in the worker's overall pay, and a company can value one employee over another similar one for a multitude of reasons besides the immediate nature of a task being done.

Having been under such a rule, I've seen it cut both ways: to minimize workplace envy/jealousy, and to mask employer (or manager) discrimination of one form or another. In several instances, employees ignored the rule at some point and revealed to others what their pay was, and the resulting envy and bickering rapidly impacted job performance and quality for the entire team - even those not making the disclosure. In other instances, certain managers suppressed the pay of some workers and increased it for certain others for "personal" reasons unrelated to the employee skill or their quality of work... it was suspected but never reported at the time, since the employees were obeying the non-disclosure rules.

I'm not defending such rules, just offering some explanation for them. No rules are created in a vacuum, so even if they're flawed, there will be a certain logic behind them. The question, as always, is whether or not they're good rules for all involved, overall.
--
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to antdude
The thing I question about firms like Equifax is how trust worthy are they? These firms can make or break lives with their data as these days your credit rating is effectively seen as your reputation by third parties who do not know you.

Seeing this story it is clear they do not have any real oversight.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
reply to Ian
said by Ian:

I can't believe this is legal. Is there really nothing to protect an employee in the US from having their employer share personal data with third, fourth, and "who knows what" parties?

Under the "transparency in state government" laws in Oregon, all state employees salaries are publicly disclosed on a website. Not sure how many other states require the same for their state employees...
--
♬ Dragon of good fortune struggles with the trickster Fox ♬

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to antdude
I was a Fed civil servant for a time. It was made very clear to us all the way through that our salaries, being paid by the taxpayers, were an open book. It was necessary to make an official FOIA request, but the salary list would be provided without question.

dw


rcdailey
Dragoonfly
Premium
join:2005-03-29
Rialto, CA
reply to Kearnstd
That is why it is a good idea to annually check your credit at all three major agencies using the "free" check. My personal opinion is that of the three, TransUnion is more likely to have bad data on file by way of merging your data with some other person's. That's just my opinion, of course.
--
It is easier for a camel to put on a bikini than an old man to thread a needle.