Identity Theft and Offshoring Emerging as Important Factors for Employers to Consider when Screening

Employers in the United States are coming under increased pressure to protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of job applicants due to increased media focus on identity theft and the “offshoring” of information gathered for background checks overseas beyond U.S. privacy laws. In 2014 employers may need to closely examine their processes in the area of protecting PII when it comes to background checks.  This is Trend Number Six of the 7th Annual Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) ‘Top Ten Background Check Trends’ for 2014. For more information about the trends, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends.

“PII” is defined as data used for distinguishing individual identity such as name, birthday, Social Security Number (SSN). If a background screening firm offshores PII to processing centers overseas beyond U.S. privacy laws, an employer may want to examine if that is consistent with its own approach to privacy. Part of the best practices endorsed by the 200 members of Concerned CRAs – a group of like-minded Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) dedicated to consumer protection – is to avoid offshoring PII of U.S. consumers. It is also crucial for employers to ensure a screening firm has sufficient security and data protections in its own operations, which is an area covered by the NAPBS accreditation rules. The use of home based workers can also raise security concerns.  For more information about Concerned CRAs, visit http://www.concernedcras.com.

“Offshoring” – the practice of U.S. companies sending PII of American consumers to foreign countries with cheaper production and labor costs to increase profits – can have negative side effects for both employers and consumers. Once PII goes offshore, it is beyond the protections if U.S. privacy laws. An American who is the victim of identity theft as a result of offshoring cannot as a practical matter call foreign Police Departments and expect help. Regardless of whether the information remains on the servers of the U.S. firm and is accessed abroad, or whether the foreign workers are technically on the payroll of the U.S. firm or a subsidiary, the problem is that a worker outside of the U.S. has access to PII.

To alert U.S.-based employers and job seekers about the potential dangers caused by background check firms “offshoring” PII to foreign countries, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is offering a complimentary whitepaper on the subject titled ‘The Dangers of Offshoring Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Outside of United States’ that details the hazards of sending PII to counties well beyond the reach of U.S. privacy and identity theft laws. The complimentary whitepaper is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Stay-Updated/Download/. For more information about Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.

About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):

LesRosenPhoto_Aug2012_SmallWhiteBorderFounded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in the San Francisco, CA-area in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more about ESR, visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call toll free 888.999.4474, or email sales@esrcheck.com.

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