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Glassdoor Leaves Users in Shock After it Starts Adding Real Namesby@gershwin.aaron
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1,585 reads

Glassdoor Leaves Users in Shock After it Starts Adding Real Names

by Aaron GershwinApril 3rd, 2024
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A recent update to Glassdoor's privacy policy has sparked concern and debate among privacy advocates and users alike, leading to questions about the future of honest employer reviews on the platform.
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A recent update to Glassdoor's privacy policy has sparked concern and debate among privacy advocates and users alike, leading to questions about the future of honest employer reviews on the platform.


Until now, Glassdoor has been a haven for anonymous, candid feedback about employers, offering insights that often pierce the polished exteriors presented by corporate PR. However, this changed as Glassdoor implemented a policy requiring users to verify their real identities. Disclosing full name, job title, and employer is now required. Questions on how to leave an anonymous review on Glassdoor have been buzzing non-stop the entire week.

Wave of outrage on social media

Although people ask ‘are glassdoor reviews anonymous?’ can be safe, the policy shift has not been without its controversies. One article in particular caught everyone's eye, and created a wave of outrage on social media.


A Glassdoor user of 10 years, referred to as Monika in the publication, reports that she contacted Glassdoor support to request help removing information from her account. Instead of deleting her details, the Glassdoor team took her real name and added it to her Glassdoor profile, says a software professional.


Instances have emerged on social media of users discovering their names added to their previously anonymous reviews without consent. Those who tried account deactivation found no luck. The username next to a review stays even after account deactivation. Some users report that even a data erasure request does not take effect immediately, and up to 30 days a username can still be visible.

Quietly changing a privacy policy could break the law

Glassdoor's policy changes highlight a larger issue—the extensive collection and potential misuse of personal data. The ease with which companies can amass vast amounts of user data, or how easily they can change their privacy policies, raises serious concerns.


Are there ways to effectively fight it? Well, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), whose mission is to protect US consumers, published a blog post saying that quietly altering a privacy policy could be a deceptive and unfair act against consumers. The FTC is signaling it might go after the offenders and warned companies to be more upfront when asking users for permission to their data.


Many are awaiting more proactive government action on private data collection by businesses. A number of companies, called data brokers, have acted as a one-stop solution for buying and selling personal data to other companies for years now. The global data trade market is projected to only grow: from $319.030 billion in 2021, it is expected to reach $545.431 billion in 2028.


Without effective laws, some people report taking the matter into their own hands: opting out one-by-one from these databases is the option people have turned to. Also, services have emerged offering some hope in the ongoing battle for data protection. Many of such tools, like Incogni, are designed to help users to opt out from databases storing their details on a bigger scale, and to prevent an individual's information from being re-added as this happens often.


Many fear they'll face consequences for their employer reviews on Glassdoor.

Why do Glassdoor users feel betrayed?

Critically, the anonymity provided by Glassdoor has been a shield for employees wishing to leave unfiltered feedback about their employers. People have shared on social media several instances, where employees faced termination or legal threats from companies for negative reviews posted on Glassdoor. This is exactly what Glassdoor users fear the most, and why everyone has been screaming for help this entire week.

What can Glassdoor users do next?

Recently Glassdoor CEO made a statement saying that ‘Anonymous posts will always stay anonymous.’ This does not seem to convince users, as comments on social media shows. Many are looking for ways to erase their details from Glassdoor, and there are two steps on getting back anonymity on Glassdoor:


  • Deactivating the Glassdoor account. This signals the company to cease any further usage of user data. You can deactivate your account by visiting the Glassdoor user settings section and choosing to "Deactivate account."
  • How to delete Glassdoor account. It ensures that the user's personal details are no longer accessible to other users. It serves as a means for individuals to opt out of the platform, taking control over their data privacy. This request can be made by contacting customer support, but it might take up to 30 days to take effect.

The new era of less anonymity on Glassdoor

The transition towards real name verification by Glassdoor reflects a broader conversation about privacy, trust, and the rights of individuals in the digital world. As platforms navigate the balance between transparency and user protection, the reactions and adaptations of their communities will undoubtedly shape the future of online anonymity and privacy policies.