July 2, 2021
On July 1, QuickBooks Online Payroll and Intuit Online Payroll customers received an e-mail from Intuit announcing a change to their Terms of Service. All payroll information will be shared with the credit bureau Equifax starting in a few months.
“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,” was the announcement included in the e-mail.
The reason behind this change, according to Intuit, is to make potential future loan or line of credit applications easier for their small business clients by giving employees easier access to their employment and income information. According to Intuit’s e-mail announcement, this will rid employers of the responsibility of manually providing this information to lenders, creditors, or government agencies.
However, many are expressing their disappointment with the change. Equifax experienced a major breach in 2017, affecting more than 145.5 million Americans. The breach exposed their personal and financial information, which is why Inuit’s permission for Equifax to collect payroll data from Intuit customers is making some people uneasy.
Who Will Be Affected?
Contributing to the uneasiness is the fact that many small to mid-sized businesses use Intuit’s services. According to the opponents of the partnership, trusting Equifax with sensitive employee information is risky, especially if their reputation is taken into account.
Equifax was accused of not properly dealing with the breach, as it introduced underwhelming and ineffective security measures. One such example is four multiple-guess questions added to reinforce security. However, the answers to these questions were actually public data that could be discovered by anyone and misused.
Intuit isn’t the only company that will be sharing payroll information with Equifax. It will be joining the ranks of Ceridian, Aon-Hewitt, and ADP (more about them here), who are already partnered with the bureau. So, consider getting the services of some other PEOs if you are looking to avoid any affiliation with Equifax.
If any customer is feeling uneasy about sharing data with Equifax, they have the option to opt out by July 31, 2021. However, if they take no action, they will automatically be included.