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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:12 PM

Little-Known Database Sells Millions Of Americans’ Salary Information To Debt Collectors

The credit reporting agency Equifax has created a little-known database that uses employment records, often given freely by human resources departments around the country, to track detailed information on millions of Americans’ pay history, in effect leading employers to help debt collectors extract money from their workforce.

An Equifax subsidiary called The Work Number, according to an investigative report at MSNBC, is often used by larger companies to automate employee work information calls, giving the firm access to human resources data.

Using that business model they obtain as much employment-related information possible and sell it to debt collectors and other financial companies, among various ways of monetizing that data. Up to one-third of all Americans are in the database, MSNBC noted.

These kinds of companies operate in a legal gray area, with very few regulations governing how the information they obtain is ultimately used. Equifax told MSNBC that it requires companies have legitimate reason to access the information, like if a consumer has applied for credit, all ostensibly in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/30/little-known-database-sells-millions-of-americans-salary-information-to-debt-collectors/

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Reply Little-Known Database Sells Millions Of Americans’ Salary Information To Debt Collectors (Original post)
Purveyor Jan 2013 OP
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #1
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #2
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #3
dipsydoodle Jan 2013 #4
limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #5

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:18 PM

1. Shared databases of employee records also have a chilling potential as political blacklists.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:33 PM

2. I think you would find

that the information is used mainly to determine ability to pay on a credit application in relation to existing credit commitments including credit card balances and default record if any.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:50 PM

3. We need laws that stop employers from selling or sharing their workers personal information.

The government should be stepping in to protect people from this kind of corporate abuse.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:55 PM

4. Data Protection Act

prevents employers from doing that in the UK and as far as I'm aware most if not all of the EU too.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:09 PM

5. We should have something like that in the US too.

I'm pretty sure we won't ever get it. But hey we can dream.


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