Tag Archives: PII

First Advantage Acquires Background Screening Industry Competitor Verifications Inc

Background screening provider First Advantage (FADV), a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company, has acquired screening industry competitor Verifications, Inc., according to a press release on the Yahoo! Finance website available at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-advantage-acquires-verifications-inc-180000268.html. Continue reading

Medical Identity Theft in United States Increased Nearly 20 Percent in Past Year According to Survey

Medical identity theft increased nearly 20 percent compared to the year before in the United States and affected an estimated 1.84 victims with the total out-of-pocket medical costs for medical identity theft victims reaching $12.3 billion, according to the 2013 Survey on Medical Identity Theft conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) with support from ID Experts. The survey is available online at http://medidfraud.org/2013-survey-on-medical-identity-theft/. Continue reading

Background Checks and Fingerprinting Considered for California State Health Insurance Exchange Workers

California state officials looking to hire 20,000 workers to help individuals enroll in the state health insurance exchange are considering whether these new employees – known as “assisters” – should undergo background checks and fingerprinting, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times available at http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/15/business/la-fi-insure-criminal-checks-20130315. Continue reading

New Privacy Laws for Collection and Use of Personal Data of Consumers Focus on Background Checks

In an effort to create stronger privacy protections for consumers, several states passed laws in 2012 regarding the collection and use of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of applicants and employees by employers during background checks, or had important privacy regulations passed in previous years take effect. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is requiring nine data broker companies that collect and sell personal information of consumers to reveal their privacy practices or lack thereof. The increased regulations for greater privacy protections for data collected during background checks is Trend Number 4 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

Offshoring Personal Data of Americans to Foreign Countries for Background Checks Opposed by Many US Screening Firms

When applicants in the United States apply for jobs, they usually undergo a background check using a disclosure and consent form required by law where they provide Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”) such as name, date of birth, and Social Security number (“SSN”).  What many job applicants and employers do not know is that certain U.S. background check firms “offshore” PII to foreign call centers and data processing locations beyond the protection of U.S. privacy and identity theft laws. However, many screening companies oppose the practice of “offshoring” out of concern that the practice provides little protection against identity theft and loss of privacy. The controversy over offshoring and employer concerns about the process is Trend Number 5 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

Mobile App Developers Must Comply with California Online Privacy Protection Act by November 29

Effective November 29, 2012, all mobile application developers with “apps” available in California must be in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act, according to a press release issued by  Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on October 30, 2012. The Attorney General formally notified up to 100 mobile app developers with ‘Notice of Non-Compliance with California Online Privacy Protection Act’ letters that they had 30 days to “conspicuously post a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information.” The press release is available at http://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-notifies-mobile-app-developers-non-compliance. Continue reading

Small Business Data Protection Survey Finds 85 Percent of Small Businesses Believe Data Breach Unlikely

According to The Hartford Small Business Data Protection Survey, an overwhelming 85 percent of small business owners believe a data breach is unlikely and many do not implement security measures to help protect customer or employee data, this despite the fact that the number of data breaches involving smaller businesses is growing. For more information about the survey from The Hartford, visit: http://newsroom.thehartford.com/News-Releases/Small-Business-Owners-Despite-Being-Increasingly-Targeted-Believe-Data-Breach-Unlikely-50c.aspx. Continue reading

Background Screening Firm Criticized for Offshoring Jobs and Personal Data of Americans to Foreign Country

A letter published on the Cleveland.com website criticizes a U.S.-based background screening firm for laying off local workers in the Ohio area in March of 2012 and “offshoring” both jobs and the personal data of American consumers collected for background checks outside of the country. The full text of the letter, written by Katharine Sarlog, a former employee of the company who was recently laid off, is available by clicking here: Katharine Sarlog letter. Continue reading

Larger Background Screening Companies Continue the Move to Offshore Processing of Background Check Reports

According to a report from the Associated Press (AP), a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) that performs employment screening for businesses will close two offices in South Dakota by the end of the year and move those jobs to new sites in Arizona, India, and the Philippines. The AP reports that the company, one of the largest background screening suppliers in the country, says the closings in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Mitchell, South Dakota are due to restructuring and will affect approximately 140 workers. The AP story is the latest case of a large U.S. background screening company “offshoring” the processing of background checks to foreign countries. Continue reading

FTC Report on Protecting Consumer Privacy Recommends Businesses Adopt Best Privacy Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a final report – ‘Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: Recommendations For Businesses and Policymakers’ – outlining best practices for businesses to protect the privacy of American consumers and give them greater control over the collection and use of their personal data, according to an FTC press release. The FTC also recommends that Congress consider enacting general privacy legislation, data security and breach notification legislation, and data broker legislation. The report, which expands on a preliminary report the FTC issued in December 2010, is available at: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2012/03/120326privacyreport.pdf. Continue reading