Google, as most know, is working on a tool for managing applicants and posting jobs openings. After the initial reports about the new tool surfaced, several questions were raised, including whether the search giant would share the browsing history of applicants with prospective employers. Now Google has answered that question.

Google Hire Search History
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

Your search history is safe with Google Hire

Google’s recruitment tool is not in operation yet, but it has gained a lot of traction due to reports that the new tool will allow prospective employers to see the browsing history of job applicants. The British news site Daily Mail claimed that many reports suggest that Google’s new recruitment tool will allow employers to access the entire search history of applicants.

Russian state-backed news channel RT, popular for showing the dark side of U.S. technology, ran the same news. RT said that the news “prompted fears that employers could be able to access your search history and YouTube subscriptions.” The reports concerning Google Hire were based on the fact that users would need to sign in with their personal Google accounts, which have information on their YouTube viewing history and search history.

Denying such reports, Google 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.”

Further, Google said that it does not share private information like a person’s viewing or search 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.,” the company said.

Why such a controversy?

It was not surprising that there was so much controversy over a not-yet-released recruitment tool. The main reason behind the story picking up so much steam was Google itself.  The tech company has too much information about its users, and people are bound to be afraid about whether it is going to share their private (and sometimes embarrassing) information with anyone. Moreover, it is very important that users let tech and social networking companies know that they are concerned about these issues.

Google Hire, which is still a work-in-progress, is expected to give tough competition to similar services like LinkedIn. The login page is currently live, but the tool is yet to be announced officially. Several tech companies are reportedly testing the tool, like Medisas, Poynt, DramaFever, SingleHop, and CoreOS. Diane Green, whose startup Bebop was acquired by Alphabet in 2015, is heading up this project. Green oversees Google’s enterprise and cloud division.

It seems that the company is using the Applicant-Tracking System (ATS), which Google uses to manage its own job applicants, to create a new revenue stream for itself. And the search giant is not the only company trying its luck with a recruitment tool. Facebook has also experimented with a tool for finding people work, and McDonald’s recently used Snapchat for hiring purposes in Australia.