Google is working on an online software for job listings and application tracking, Axios reports. Led by Diane Greene of Google’s enterprise and cloud division, Google Hire, is still in Beta and is being tested by Medisas, Poynt, DramaFever, SingleHop, and CoreOS, the publication added. Users can sign into Google Hire using their Google accounts but currently, users can only log in if they have an invite.

The news break was followed by multiple websites claiming that soon employers will soon be able to look through potential employees’ search history and web browsing habits. The speculation followed the fact that Google Hire would require users to sign in with their Google accounts.

In a statement to Gizmodo Google clarified: “Google does not share private information such as search or viewing history. Only the information that applicants input into Google Hire will be shared—for example, first name, last name, email address, resume, cover letter, etc.”

What user information is public on Google

All user information linked to a Google account can be viewed at aboutme.google.com. A user can, at any time, choose to make this information private, away from the prying eyes of search engines and strangers. The information that is publicly available against every user on Google is:

  • Name,
  • Introduction,
  • Gender,
  • Date of Birth,
  • Contact information (Phone number and email ID)
  • Work history
  • Education
  • Sites linked,
  • Places (Current and those visited in the past)

Information such as web-browsing and YouTube history is never shared with third parties, including governments. Although Google tracks and saves searches on Google products and services such as Search, Maps, YouTube, etc, user location, language, IP address, browser or app details, ads clicked, activities on an advertiser’s site, and information on a user device such as recent apps or contact names, etc. This data is used by Google to serve users better. Google also anonymises this data–removes all details that can identify a user–and uses it to serve targeted ads.

Will employers be able to look through an applicant’s search history?

Employers will only be able to see information that a user makes public. A Google spokesperson further told Gizmodo: “Only information that a candidate voluntarily provides would be passed to a prospective employer as part of their online application. Private information will not be shared.” In fact, users can control and limit the data Google collects by visiting: myaccount.google.com/privacy and adjust what information appears public.