Nov 27, 2017 • 2 min read
Did you hear the news? Expensify uses mechanical turks (human labor) to extract the data from the receipts you trust them to OCR. 2017 was the year this leaked out and one of those mechanical turk found boarding passes, hotel receipts (name, dates, details), medical receipts, addresses, signatures, and Uber receipt with full name, pickup & drop off addresses which might have been their home address!! Yes, PII. Personally identifiable information.
Expensify leak in the news
Expensify sent images with personal data to Mechanical Turkers, calls it a feature
Expensify CEO says its ‘automated’ service is ‘proud’ to use humans to process receipts
TL;DR: Expensify’s deceptive mechanical turk army may have resulted in me coming within seconds of losing $30k, and almost certainly leaves them exposed to massive liabilities as they wantonly give away personally identifiable information to low-paid contract workers that are not bound to confidentiality.
The “machine learning” behind that application you’ve been using to scan your receipts for business expenses and company benefit filings may not have been entirely machine-based—and that could have some privacy implications, despite what the company has advertised. Expensify, the paperless business expense management service with more than 4.5 million users, has been using humans to transcribe at least some of the expense and benefit documents the company’s software processes—and over the past few months, some of those humans were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. More in the News.
Time for a change
If you care about your data-privacy then you should find a provider that uses machines for the backend and has security on the top of their agenda. Here’s how to identify human powered backoffice bookkeeping. And here’s how Veryfi handles security.
Veryfi wants to help you 🔐
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line “Save my privacy. Expensify migration.”
- One of our friendly staff at our San Mateo (California) office will respond within 48 hours with more instructions
- Sleep comfortably at night knowing your personal identity is safe.
About VERYFI – a very wise solution to your PII/Privacy
Veryfi is 100% machine powered end-to-end. We do not employ any “man behind the curtain” wizardry. All receipts scanned using Veryfi are processed in real-time. Machines don’t sleep.
(a) Learn more about Why Veryfi
(b) Watch a comprehensive review of Expensify vs Veryfi
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