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Credit Bureau May Share Payroll Data

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—U.S.

January 31, 2013

NBC News reports on a company that has assembled a database containing approximately 190 million employment and salary records, representing nearly one-third of all U.S. adults. The Equifax-owned firm, The Work Number, with the aid of thousands of human resource departments, reportedly sells the sensitive data to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities. One individual who runs an employment background company said, “It’s the biggest privacy breach in our time, and it’s legal, and no one knows it’s going on.” Weekly payroll stubs and human resource-related information are among the data collected. Equifax said it shares “employment data” in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Privacy expert Larry Ponemon, CIPP/US, said, “This is unbelievably scary. I consider payroll information very sensitive and private.”
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