Tag Archives: Privacy

New York Social Security Number Protection Law Amendment Allows Employers to Request SSN for Background Checks

New York law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August 2012 that amended the state’s 2008 Social Security Number Protection Law has caused some concern for New York employers conducting background checks. However, a review of the law demonstrates that when it comes to background checks conducted under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state law, the law does not impede an employer’s ability to utilize a Social Security number (SSN). Continue reading

Legislation to Prevent Employers from Requesting Social Media Passwords Introduced or Pending in 28 States

At least 28 states have legislation that has been introduced or is pending in 2013 to prevent employers from requesting usernames and passwords to various social media and personal Internet accounts of employees and job applicants to get or keep a job, according the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). A list of legislation regarding employer access to social media information as of February 15, 2013 is available on the NCSL website at http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/telecom/employer-access-to-social-media-passwords-2013.aspx. Continue reading

Dangers of Using Social Network Sites to Screen Job Applicants Reviewed in Audio Conference on January 29

To review the potential dangers employers face using so-called “social media background checks,” Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will participate in a live 90 minute audio conference ‘Screening Applicants Using Social Networking Sites: Legal or Liability?’ on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST. To register for the event presented with education services provider Lorman, visit http://www.lorman.com/audio-conference/390956. 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

Holiday Season Identity Theft Rising So Shoppers Need to Protect Their Identities from ID Thieves

With the arrival of ‘Black Friday’ and Cyber Monday,’ the first Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, shoppers are ready for the official kickoff to the 2012 holiday shopping season. With research showing identity theft on the rise with help from social media and smart phones, shoppers need to protect their identities more than ever. For suggestions from The Hanover Insurance Group on how holiday shoppers can avoid identity theft, visit http://www.snl.com/irweblinkx/file.aspx?IID=103541&FID=15353223. Continue reading

Protect Your Identity Week Held from October 20 to 27 to Increase Public Awareness of Identity Theft

To increase public awareness of identity theft, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), along with the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) and the National Association of Triads, Inc. (NATI), is hosting the fifth annual Protect Your Identity Week (PYIW) from October 20 to 27, 2012 with the theme of “ID Theft Protection on the Go.” To find PYIW events as well as identity theft protection resources, steps for identity theft victims, and a quiz to assess identity theft risks, visit http://www.protectyouridnow.org/. Continue reading

California Social Media Privacy Law AB 1844 Prohibits Employers from Demanding Usernames and Passwords from Applicants and Employees

On September 27, 2012, California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. announced that he had signed Assembly Bill 1844 (AB 1844) to increase privacy protections for social media users in the state by prohibiting  employers from demanding usernames, passwords, and information related to social media accounts such as Facebook from employees and job applicants. The new law also bans employers from firing or disciplining employees who refuse to divulge the information. The full text of California Assembly Bill 1844 (AB 1844) is at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120AB1844&search_keywords=. Continue reading

Illinois Law Prevents Employers from Demanding Social Network Passwords from Employees and Job Candidates

A new law makes Illinois the second state to prevent employers from demanding social network passwords as Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation – House Bill 3782 (HB 3782) – that protects the right to privacy of current employees and job applicants by making it illegal for employers to request social network account information such as usernames or passwords to gain access to their accounts or profiles. The full text of the law, which takes effect January 1, 2013, is available here: Illinois House Bill 3782 (HB 3782). Continue reading