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I have applied to a company in the EU. The person handling this process is in touch with someone (say, a campus ambassador) in my university (to advertise this opportunity in our university; there are no personal links between them). For various reasons, I don't them to know that I've applied to this company. I want to know if this company will disclose (for example, if say, this campus ambassador asks them how many people have applied to them from our campus and their names).

Does any EU law prevent them from sharing this information? Logically, there's no reason to share. But could someone just casually share that I've applied in response to a query?

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  • No reason to share - no ground to share. Can they casually share? Of course. People casually steal stuff. Dec 23 '20 at 8:34
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    Hey @lodef, welcome to the workplace! It seems that your question is about law and legalities, and thus not really on topic here as we do not answer legal questions, or give legal advice, but it should fit right in at law.stackexchange.com. Though if this has caused you some actual workplace issues, and you can rework the question accordingly, I am sure we can help out. Dec 23 '20 at 9:07
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    @TymoteuszPaul As long as we don't go into legal details this could be on-topic here under the "things HR or a hiring manager should know" umbrella.
    – Lilienthal
    Dec 23 '20 at 10:21
  • Are you a student or an employee of the university?
    – Hilmar
    Dec 23 '20 at 13:26
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This assumes you are a student. If you are an employee that answer is invalid.

I want to know if this company will disclose

Did you ask the company? Did you tell them that you want to keep this confidential and did they agree? For a student that would be an somewhat unusual request, so they may not be aware of it and disclose accidentally during casual contact

Does any EU law prevent them from sharing this information?

Laws don't prevent people from doing anything, laws just spell out potential consequences of certain actions. Even if it's illegal and they share anyway: What would you do about it? The information can't be unshared and suing for damages feels completely unreasonable.

Logically, there's no reason to share.

There could be all kinds of reasons. Many companies and universities are friendly and have community events, alumni groups, internship/hiring/funding programs etc. Most students would actually be happy about that.

So what you should do is to tell the people in the company that you want your contact to be confidential and ask them if they agree. If they say yes, chances are they will honor this. If not, you would not want to work there anyway. If they say no, you need to decide what's more important to you. The potential employment or keeping things under wraps

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  • You'd also want to ask why they said no if they say it. There may be a requirement in their agreement where the employer reports all hiring's made via your university, especially if you've told them you applied due to the university advertisements.
    – BobKayser
    Dec 27 '20 at 0:00
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The company cannot share this information without a reason and pure curiosity is not a reason.

However, for example the company might contact your university to double-check if your credentials are valid (probably good enough as a reason) and your university may inquire why they want to know (because they, too, do not give out your personal data without reason), so the company might give "applied for a job with us" as a reason for that request. In theory they are not allowed to compile and use that data for other reasons, but theory and practice sometimes differ wildly.

So do they have an official data exchange program just because they can? No, that would be illegal. Do they have a valid reason to exchange your specific data when you apply for a job? Probably. Do they use it? We don't know.

You will need a local specialized lawyer to figure out the details for your country, even "Europe" is not a single zone of laws.

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    Ah, the company can totally share it. It may be illegal, and it may end up being fined when people find out - but it is not like people are not breaking the law ever. Also the company may outsource some HR validation to a third party, and that third party may also handle the operation for another client and thus - see that there is the same person applying for 2 people. And this outsourced party is - ah - someone.
    – TomTom
    Dec 23 '20 at 22:31
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It think it's mostly based on the organization itself. If someone shared something personal of mine, and it messed up my entry, I would consider approaching with a lawyer. For example, I applied for a job while working for another company, the process leaked and I got fired. No reason for firing me EVEN if they knew I was looking elsewhere. My lawyer did pretty good and I got my wages for the entire time I was put off until I got my papers. No job whatsoever, but the money was appreciated.

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Realistically they will share. In your particular scenario it even makes sense:

I have applied to a company in the EU. The person handling this process is in touch with someone (say, a campus ambassador) in my university (to advertise this opportunity in our university; there are no personal links between them).

SO, the company has someone with a HR relation in the university and you expect them NOT to ask this person whether i.e. your grades are fake? SERIOUSLY? The Ambassador will have signed NDA and being there to advertise this opportunity will reasonable be asked.

Also: Yes, anyone can share anything with anyone else. THere are laws, but laws do not magically stop something from happening. Laws lay out POTENTIAL consequences - which have to be prosecuted, first.

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