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Court Orders Glassdoor to Reveal Reviewers' Identities

November 10, 2017, HR Magazine

Jadzia Butler is quoted in an HR Magazine article regarding a recent court order requiring Glassdoor to reveal the identities of users in response to a grand jury subpoena in a wire fraud case. It is "particularly concerning" if Internet users who believe they can have anonymous online discussions have their anonymity compromised by a mere subpoena, Butler says. Some employees use the platform to report managers' or co-workers' problematic behavior. Without their identities' being kept confidential, they may be less likely to do so. That's bad for the employer, which could have been made aware of things it did not know were happening.

Butler adds that the employees aren't implicated in a crime and are mere witnesses. "They did not ask to be dragged into this legal process. Now they and those who hear about their story will think twice about expressing themselves in this way." She says, "From a civil liberties standpoint, such an important decision speaks to other courts throughout the United States and sends a message abroad." The United States up to this point has been "a shining beacon of hope when it comes to free expression." But this decision "may validate what other countries do in similar but more sinister circumstances."

 

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