Tag Archives: PII

EU Commission Recommends 13 Improvements for US Safe Harbor Data Protection Program

The European Union (EU) Commission has reviewed the U.S. Safe Harbor data protection program on transfers of personal information to the United States and will either modify, suspend, or revoke its Safe Harbor decision by summer 2014 based on progress made on EU Commission’s 13 recommendations for improvements. The EU ‘Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on the Functioning of the Safe Harbour from the Perspective of EU Citizens and Companies Established in the EU’ is available at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/files/com_2013_847_en.pdf. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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