Skip to main content
Visit our new News website at
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 6:15am

Report: Your Salary Data May Be For Sale

Updated: 4 years ago.
Fill out an application for a loan, and your wage history may go places you didn't expect.

If you've earned a paycheck in recent years, you'll probably want want to know about this:

The Equifax credit reporting agency, NBC News reports, has collected 190 million employment and salary records on about one-third of U.S. adults and has sold some of the information "to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."

Robert Mather, who runs a small employment background company named, tells the network that "it's the biggest privacy breach in our time, and it's legal and no one knows it's going on. ... It's like a secret CIA."

In an email to NBC News, Equifax says it complies with Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines, that the companies buying the information "must have a permissible purpose" and that consumers give the companies the OK to get the data when they apply for credit. Presumably, the OK is in the fine print.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit