Glassdooor’s Anonymity Facade Shattered After Gaffe Exposes Thousands Of Customer Email Addresses

The Internet is littered with memes describing awkward moments and perhaps now someone will make a new one describing that awkward moment when a service that prides itself on anonymity mistakenly shares your email address without thousands of others. So it goes with Glassdoor, an online portal where employees past and present can leave anonymous reviews of companies.

Glassdoor is a popular and handy website for any job seeker considering employment at a particular firm. It's filled with useful information, a lot of it anecdotal in terms of being user reviews, but also what kind of compensation to expect for various roles within an organization. If you're about to negotiate your salary or find yourself on the fence about working for a particular place, Glassdoor can prove an invaluable resource.


However, those that run Glassdoor aren't infallible, as was recently discovered. The trouble started on Friday when the company sent an email to registered users announcing changes to its terms of service. Unfortunately the person in charge of Glassdoor's email blast listed everyone's email in plain sight rather than blind copying everyone. Oops!

The emails were sent out to multiple groups of users, each with 1,000 recipients. That means if you were on one of the emails, you could see 999 other Glassdoor email addresses, as well as be visible to those same 999 others. Company spokeswoman Samantha Zupan said the mistake left just over 2 percent of the Glassdoor's users exposed. Out of the company's 30 million monthly active users, that equates to around 600,000 users.

"We are extremely sorry for this error," Glassdoor said. "We take the privacy of our users very seriously and we know this is not what is expected of us. It certainly isn't how we intend to operate."

Zupan blamed the screwup on a technical glitch but didn't say what kind or why it wasn't caught before the emails went out.