2010 Trend is focus on privacy and data protection

By Les Rosen, Employment Screening Resources

2010 Trends in Screening–Trend Three:

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading national online employment screening background firm, is releasing the ESR “Third Annual Top Ten Trends in the Pre-Employment Background Screening Industry” for 2010.   This is the THIRD of the ten trends ESR will be tracking in 2010.  The ten trends will be released over the next three weeks:

3. Focus on privacy and data protection

Heating up even further in 2010 will be issues surrounding data protection and privacy.  The issues are moving beyond network security  and there is beginning to be an examination about where the data is actually going for processing. 

 The two top issues — sending data offshore or to home workers.  A group  called ConcernedCRA now has more than 120 screening firms that have signed on to a standard that opposes sending Personally Identifiable Information (PII) offshore beyond U.S. privacy laws to be processed.  See http://www.concernedcras.com/  A bill was introduced into Congress in June  2009 that would limit the offshoring of data without notice in the financial sector.  A shocking undercover investigation by the BBC in 2009 showed just how easy it was to purchase PII from a call center in India. 

Of course, identity theft can occur in the U.S., but once data physically goes beyond U.S. privacy laws, consumers have less resources and recourses.  Equally of concern to applicants is the use of home workers, where a consumer’s PII may be spread across kitchen tables and dorms rooms throughout America and be visible to who knows who.  Because of concerns over identity theft and data protection, employers will start to be more concerned with where applicant data is physically located. Part of this trend will be continued state efforts to remove or protect private information.  An example in 2009:  There was a new law in Utah that prohibits PII from being required too early in the hiring process.