Tag Archives: FTC

Equal Employment for All Act Would Prohibit Employers from Using Credit Report Checks when Hiring

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee-09) has introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives – H.R. 645, the ‘Equal Employment for All Act’ – that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to prohibit employers from using credit report checks and bankruptcy filings when hiring or making adverse employment decisions. Under H.R. 645, some exceptions allowing the use of credit reports would include jobs requiring security clearance, state or local government jobs, or certain individuals working in the financial industry. The full text of ‘the ‘Equal Employment for All Act’ is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr645ih/pdf/BILLS-113hr645ih.pdf. Continue reading

Identity Theft Tops Annual FTC List of National Consumer Complaints for 13th Consecutive Year

Identity theft in general – and tax- or wage-related fraud in particular – has once again topped the list of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the 13th consecutive year in the annual FTC Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January – December 2012. The report, which marks the first year the FTC received more than 2 million complaints overall, found that 369,132 complaints – or 18 percent –  were related to identity theft, with more than 43 percent of those complaints related to tax- or wage-related fraud. The FTC Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for 2012 is available at http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/reports/sentinel-annual-reports/sentinel-cy2012.pdf. Continue reading

FTC Study on Credit Report Accuracy Finds One in Five Consumers has Error on Their Credit Reports

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study of accuracy in the U.S. credit reporting industry has found that one in five consumers – an estimated 40 million Americans, according to a ‘60 Minutes’ report on the FTC study – had an error on at least one of their three major credit reports while five percent had significant errors on one of their credit reports that could result in less favorable terms for auto loans and insurance. The full text of the FTC report is available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2013/02/130211factareport.pdf. Continue reading

Mobile Apps Marketers Offering Criminal Background Checks To Settle FTC Charges for Violating Fair Credit Reporting Act

In resolving the first Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case involving mobile “apps,” marketers of mobile applications that compiled and sold criminal record background check reports as job applicant screening tools have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they operated as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) without taking consumer protection measures required by the FCRA.  The FTC’s settlement order, which prohibits the companies involved from future FCRA violations, is available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1123195/130110filquarianagree.pdf. Continue reading

Background Screening Industry Focused on Accuracy after Stories of Background Checks Gone Wrong

A new focus on accuracy in the background screening industry has emerged after several reports about inaccurate background checks appeared in the news recently. The latest story is a blog on HuffingtonPost.com titled ‘5 Stories of Background Checks Gone Awry’ that describes how background checks used when people apply for jobs, open bank accounts, or rent or buy homes can sometimes be “just wrong.” The HuffingtonPost.com blog, which lists five specific incidences of when background checks contained bad information, is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erin-steiner/5-stories-of-background-c_b_2427586.html. Continue reading

Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013 Released by Employment Screening Resources

Nationwide accredited background check firm Employment Screening Resources (ESR) has released its Sixth Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ featuring emerging and influential trends in the background screening industry selected by ESR Founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen. For 2013, the focus on accuracy of background check report information and the greater scrutiny of the screening industry was chosen as the number one trend. The Sixth Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. Continue reading

Background Screening Industry Faces Greater Scrutiny after Accuracy of Criminal Background Checks Questioned

In 2012, after reported cases of inaccurate criminal background checks costing job seekers employment, the background screening industry faced greater scrutiny over accuracy of reports. This increased attention included a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report recommending regulations on data brokers, the FTC charging companies with alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations, a National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) report on inaccurate background checks, two New York Times editorials, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) increasing supervision of background checks, and an NBC Today Show report on background check errors. In response, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) refuted reports critical of the screening industry and pointed to an accreditation program created to improve accuracy. This focus on accuracy is Trend 1 of the 6th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. Continue reading

Top 20 Stories for Background Check Screening for 2012 from Employment Screening Resources

For the last day of the year, nationwide accredited background check provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR)http://www.esrcheck.com – has chosen the following ‘Top 20 Stories for Background Check Screening for 2012’ from the ESR News blog at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/. Here are the top 20 stories for 2012 from ESR in order of the date posted: Continue reading

Federal Trade Commission to Study Collection and Use of Consumer Information by Data Brokers

In an effort to study privacy practices in the data broker industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted 5-0 to issue orders requiring nine data brokers – companies that collect, analyze, and sell personal information of consumers – to reveal how they gather and use data about consumers, according to an FTC news release available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/databrokers.shtm. Continue reading

Government Increases Action Against Consumer Reporting Agencies Using Background Checks in Violation of FCRA

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently submitted written testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights summarizing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirements that relate to the use of consumer reports in employment in protecting the rights of job applicants and employees under the FCRA, according to a news release available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/fcra.shtm.  The FTC testimony on the FCRA – which promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information from Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – is an example of the trend of the government increasing action against CRAs violating the law. This is Trend Number 9 of the 6th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. Continue reading