Glassdoor’s Integration With Facebook Appears To Compromise Anonymity

By Justin Lafferty 

Glassdoor is a great way to get the inside scoop on a company before you send in a job application. Job seekers can compare salaries and read anonymous reviews from employees to get a better sense of what it’s really like to work at a certain place. But now that Glassdoor has integrated with Facebook, users can see which friends are on Glassdoor, taking away the sense of anonymity.

Glassdoor has a fairly popular Facebook application. According to our sister site, AppData, Glassdoor is steadily rising and currently has about 660,000 daily active users and 4.8 million monthly active users. Indeed, when you log onto the app, you can see which friends use it, too:

Forbes posted a story Thursday about how this takes away the invisibility that is the entire basis of posting on Glassdoor. The app shows which of your friends (and friends of friends) have worked at particular companies. It serves as a way to connect and ask friends about a business’ culture, but it might be a bit too much sharing on a site built upon anonymity.

Forbes’ Kashmir Hill explains how the integration has made it a little bit easier to figure out who posts what:

A colleague of mine was recently doing a little salary sleuthing on the site and noted that in the “anonymous salary information” on Glassdoor, one vice president had volunteered that he or she made $167K. “I’m Facebook friends with exactly one VP,” my colleague writes. “Does he make $167,000? It seems that with a little sleuthing, you could find out exactly what your coworkers — at least the ones you’re Facebook friends with — make.”

This is obviously not a foolproof way to figure out what your co-workers make. That VP isn’t necessarily the same one who gave up salary info to Glassdoor. But since the Facebook integration is relatively new, those who have connected their accounts are probably regular users of Glassdoor, and indeed may be the same people who previously offered up “anonymous” info to the site.

Granted, it’s not an obvious case of privacy being thrown out the window, but it’s enough to make you think twice before connecting with Glassdoor through Facebook. A Glassdoor spokeswoman pointed out that while users may assume or guess that their friend posted a scathing review of a company or is rolling in dough, it’s not always 100 percent accurate.

Readers: Do any of you use the Glassdoor Facebook app? Have you managed to figure out which Facebook friends have posted about their workplace?