Tag Archives: Criminal Databases

Federal Trade Commission Privacy Report Recommends Legislation to Regulate Data Brokers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s chief privacy policy and enforcement agency, recently issued a final report – ‘Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers’ – urging businesses to adopt best practices to protect the privacy of American consumers and contains important recommendations regarding data brokers and give them greater control over the collection and use of their personal data. One recommendation in the FTC report, available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2012/03/120326privacyreport.pdf, is that Congress consider enacting data broker legislation. Continue reading

San Luis Obispo Court Responds to Criticism over Limiting Public Access to Criminal Records by Citing Privacy Concerns

After the recent closure of a public access computer that had allowed searches of criminal and traffic records led to criticism that public information was now less accessible, the San Luis Obispo (CA) Superior Court officials cited “privacy concerns over outdated criminal and victim information” that was “exposed to background checking contractors” as a reason why the Court removed the public computer terminal on March 19, according to a report in the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Tribune, ‘SLO court closes public computer.’ Continue reading

Internet Dating Safety Act Requiring Online Dating Sites to Disclose Background Check Policy Passes Illinois Senate

The Illinois Senate has passed legislation – Senate Bill 2545 (SB 2545) – that would create the ‘Internet Dating Safety Act’ requiring online dating websites offering services in Illinois to clearly disclose if they perform criminal background checks on members, according to a press release on the website of the bill’s sponsor Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago). SB 2545, which passed in the Senate 42 to 9, will next move to the House, where a similar bill has won committee approval. The full text of SB 2545 is available here. Continue reading

San Luis Obispo County Impedes Access to Public Criminal Records for Background Checks

According to the Public Record Update Newsletter for March 2012, a Public Record Retriever Network (PRRN) Member reports that the San Luis Obispo (California) Superior Court has taken steps to impede criminal record searches for background checks in the county by putting the public record access terminals under lock and key and making them off limits to professional public record researchers and private background screening firms. One reason for impeding access to background screening firms and mandating rules that discourage background checks is that the Court Executive Officer believes employers should instead use background checks performed by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Continue reading

Illinois Bill would Require Online Dating Sites to Disclose if They Conduct Criminal Background Checks

Legislation under consideration in Illinois – House Bill 4083 (HB 4083) ‘INTERNET DATING SAFETY ACT’ – would require online dating sites to clearly and conspicuously disclose to all Illinois members if they conduct criminal background checks. Introduced by State Representative Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg), HB 4083 would also require Internet dating services to provide a safety awareness notification to all Illinois members of safer dating practices. The full text of HB 4083 is available here. Continue reading

Background Check Trends List for 2012 Topped by Greater Scrutiny of Criminal Record Checks of Job Applicants

The use – and, in some cases, misuse – of criminal background checks of job applicants by employers, a practice which has come under greater scrutiny of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has topped the fifth annual Employment Screening Resources ‘Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. For the past five years, Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority(SM)’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – has compiled a list featuring emerging and influential trends in employment screening background checks for employers. Continue reading

Criminal Background Checks of Job Applicants by Employers Coming Under Greater Scrutiny by EEOC

With a recent survey showing nine out of ten employers conduct criminal background checks on some or all job candidates, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting in July 2011 examining the use of arrest and conviction records by employers for criminal background checks to determine if the practice was an unfair and discriminatory hiring barrier to job seeking ex-offenders. The EEOC’s actions, coupled with the growing “Ban the Box” movement seeking to remove the criminal history question from job applications, shows that employer use of criminal records is under fire now more than ever. This is Trend Number 1 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Employment Screening Lawsuits Increase as Attorneys and Consumers Become Familiar with FCRA Laws Regulating Background Checks

Consumers and attorneys are looking more closely at background check reports and laws governing employment screening and filing more lawsuits against employers. On one hand, employers are being sued by victims that alleged the employer failed to perform adequate screening. On the other, employers and background screening firms also face lawsuits from job applicants complaining about the accuracy of background reports, or failure to meet the guidelines of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In a number of cases, class action suits are being utilized as the vehicle to bring legal actions against employers. This is Trend Number 7 of the fifth annual ‘Employment Screening Resources (ESR) Top 10 Trends in Background Checks’ for 2012. To view the list of trends, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-Top-10-Trends-in-Background-Checks-for-2012.php. Continue reading

Women Claim To Be Victims of Suspected Stalker Who Once Worked Inside Their Homes

Two Michigan women claim they were frightened and terrorized after they responded to ads from a major department store to have their air ducts cleaned and a duct cleaner – a career criminal with a history of harassing women who somehow passed a background check – allegedly began stalking them after working in their homes, according to an investigative report from WXYZ-TV ABC Channel 7 Action News in Detroit, MI. Continue reading

Statistics Show NFL Players May Be Less Likely to Get Arrested than General Public

While the perception for some sports fans is that National Football League (NFL) players cannot seem to stay out of trouble with the law, an NFL Arrests Database compiled by the San Diego Union-Tribune found an arrest rate of 1 in every 45 NFL players – or 2.2 percent – since 2000, according to a report from CBS station WCCO in Minneapolis, Minnesota that asked the question ‘Are Athletes Arrested More Than Others?’ When compared to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics for 2009 that show the national arrest rate for all arrests to be 1 in 23 – or 4.3 percent – the reality may be that the fans watching NFL games are more likely to get arrested than the players on the field. Continue reading