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New Group Forms to Promote Privacy Protection by Agreeing not to Send Data Offshore

An important issue for employers in working with a background screening firm is knowing exactly where the screening firm is sending an applicant’s personal and identifiable information, or PII. Identity theft is a significant issue for Americans, and if an identity is stolen, it can take years to clean up the mess, cost a great deal of money and cause untold grief.

However, there are some background screening firms that seek to lower their costs by off-shoring screening functions to countries outside of the United States.  One of the problems with off-shoring is that once data leaves the United States, the data is beyond the reach of U.S. privacy laws.

To address this issue, a number of background firms have banded together and have voluntarily adopted a standard that they do not off-shore domestic verifications, and precautions are even taken with international verifications to protect PII.  See ESR is a subscriber to the no off-shoring standard. If a firm is not listed on that site, an employer is well advised to inquire if any data is sent offshore and, if so, what protections are in place.


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