Think Facebook Is Going to Fix Its Data Issues, Think Again

November 23, 2017

Facebook has been in hot water lately with its massive flubs with fake news. But the water is about to get scalding when you look at how fast and lose it plays with data. We learned some shocking things from a Fast Company story, “This Time, Facebook is Sharing Its Employees’ Data.”

According to the story:

Still, through a little-known arrangement, Facebook Inc. routinely shares the sensitive income and employment data of its U.S.-based employees with the Work Number database, owned by Equifax Workforce Solutions. Yes, that Equifax.


Every week, Facebook provides an electronic data feed of its employees’ hourly work and wage information to Equifax Workforce Solutions, formerly known as TALX, a St. Louis-based unit of Equifax, Inc. The Work Number database is managed separately from the Equifax credit bureau database that suffered a breach exposing the data of more than 143 million Americans, but it contains another cache of extensive personal information about Facebook’s employees, including their date of birth, social security number, job title, salary, pay raises or decreases, tenure, number of hours worked per week, wages by pay period, healthcare insurance coverage, dental care insurance coverage, and unemployment claim records.

This is pretty groundbreaking news. If the social media king can’t even keep its own employee data safe from the Equifaxes and hackers of the world, how safe are we supposed to think they keep our own data? For Facebook to earn back customer trust, it’ll have to jump through some pretty serious hoops. We’ll sit back and wait for the circus to arrive, in that case.

Patrick Roland, November 23, 2017


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