Sneaky Intuit to Share Payroll Data with Hacked Credit Agency Equifax

Posted on 07/01/2021

Data privacy is a growing concern among users as credit bureaus are looking for ways to assess people and companies. Intuit, which owns Quickbooks and Turbotax, informed 1.4 million small businesses using its QuickBooks Online Payroll and Intuit Online Payroll products that their payroll information will be shared with three consumer credit bureau Equifax Inc. starting later in 2021. Customers must opt out by the end of July 2021. The Equifax-owned company called The Work Number, is sold to debt collectors, financial service companies, and other entities. The Work Number database is so detailed that it contains week-by-week paystub information dating back years for many individuals. Equifax shares “employment data” with debt collectors and others, and said it in 2013 to NBC News that it does so in compliance with Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines. For example, mega payroll provider ADP has long shared payroll data with Equifax.

Intuit is spinning the change as a “exciting” and “free” new service to let employees of small business to get access to verification services for loans and lines of credit.

“In early fall 2021, your QuickBooks Online Payroll subscription will include an automated income and employment verification service powered by The Work Number from Equifax,” reads the Intuit email, which includes a link to the new Terms of Service. “Your employees may need to verify their income and employment info when applying for things like loans, credit, or public aid. Before, you likely had to manually provide this info to lenders, creditors or government agencies. These verifications will be automated by The Work Number, which helps employees get faster approvals and saves you time.”

Bad Track Record
In 2017, credit agency Equifax exposed the personal and financial details of 145.5 million Americans.

Equifax’s “Workforce” Solutions Business
Equifax has cultivated a database of 300 million current and historic employment records, according to regulatory filings. The workforce-solutions unit is now among Equifax’s fastest-growing businesses.

According to Intuit, customers can opt out by following these steps:

1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online Payroll.

2. Go to Payroll Settings.

3. In the Shared data section, select the pencil and uncheck the box.

4. Select Save.

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