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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

For background screening firms that must protect the personal information of individuals undergoing background checks, consumer protection is a top priority in order to guard against data breaches and identity theft. A background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has many safeguards in place to ward off unauthorized users and unwanted intrusions. This blog is the first in a six part series about the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP).

‘Consumer Protection’ is the first of six sections of the BSAAP created for Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – the technical term for background screening companies – along with ‘Legal Compliance,’ ‘Client Education,’ ‘Researcher and Data Product Standards,’ ‘Verification Service Standards,’ and ‘General Business Practices.’ The BSAAP contains 58 clauses that CRAs must follow to be NAPBS Accredited. The ‘Consumer Protection’ section contains the 13 clauses below as listed on the NAPBS website:

  • 1.1 Information Security Policy – CRA shall have a Written Information Security Policy. CRA shall designate one or more individuals within the organization who are responsible for implementing, managing and enforcing the information security policy.
  • 1.2 Data Security – CRA shall have procedures in place to protect consumer information under the control of the CRA from internal and external unauthorized access. These procedures shall include specifications for the securing of information in both hard copy and electronic form, including information stored on portable and/or removable electronic devices.
  • 1.3 Intrusion and Data Security – CRA shall have procedures in place to reasonably detect, investigate and respond to an information system intrusion, including consumer notification where warranted.
  • 1.4 Stored Data Security – CRA shall have procedures in place to reasonably ensure backup data is stored in an encrypted or otherwise protected manner.
  • 1.5 Password Protocol – CRA shall require strong password protocol pursuant to current security best practices.
  • 1.6 Electronic Access Control – CRA shall have procedures in place to control access to all electronic information systems and electronic media that contain consumer information. CRA shall have procedures in place to administer access rights. Users shall only be given the access necessary to perform their required functions. Access rights shall be updated based on personnel or system changes.
  • 1.7 Physical Security – CRA shall have procedures in place to control physical access to all areas of CRA facilities that contain consumer information.
  • 1.8 Consumer Information Privacy Policy – CRA shall have a Consumer Information Privacy Policy detailing the purpose of the collection of consumer information, the intended use, and how the information will be shared, stored and destroyed. The CRA shall post this policy on its Web site, if it has one, and will make said policy available to clients and/or consumers upon request in at least one other format.
  • 1.9 Unauthorized Browsing – CRA shall have a policy that prohibits workers from searching files and databases unless they have a bona fide business necessity.
  • 1.10 Record Destruction – When records are to be destroyed or disposed of, CRA shall follow FTC regulations and take measures to ensure that all such records and data are destroyed and unrecoverable.
  • 1.11 Consumer Disputes – CRA shall have procedures in place for handling and documenting a consumer dispute that comply with the federal FCRA.
  • 1.12 Sensitive Data Masking – CRA shall have a procedure to suppress or truncate Social Security numbers and other sensitive data elements as required by law.
  • 1.13 Database Criminal Records – When reporting potentially adverse criminal record information derived from a non-government owned or non-government sponsored/supported database pursuant to the federal FCRA, the CRA shall either: A) verify the information directly with the venue that maintains the official record for that jurisdiction prior to reporting the adverse information to the client; or B) send notice to the consumer at the time information is reported.

Governed by a strict professional standard of specified requirements and measurements, the BSAAP is becoming a widely recognized seal of achievement that brings national recognition to background screening organizations.  This recognition will stand as the industry “seal,” representing a background screening organization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. To learn more about the BSAPP, visit

Founded in 2003 as a not-for-profit trade association, the NAPBS® represents the interests of more than 700 member companies around the world that offer tenant, employment, and background screening.  NAPBS provides relevant programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serve clients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry, and presents a unified voice in the development of national, state, and local regulations. To learn more about the NAPBS, visit

To read other blogs about the NAPBS, visit

ESR Achieves Re-Accreditation with NAPBS

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) has announced that Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) successfully demonstrated continued compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) and is recognized as BSCC-Accredited. To learn more about Accreditation, read the ESR News Blog “Employment Screening Resources Achieves Background Screening Credentialing Council Re-Accreditation.”

Founded in 1997, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a global background check firm headquartered in the San Francisco, California area. ESR is a strategic choice that consistently delivers fast, accurate, affordable, and compliant information through innovative and highly integrated solutions. ESR is accredited by the NAPBS® and is audited yearly for SSAE 18 SOC 2® Type 2 compliance, a distinction held by a small percentage of background screening firms. To learn more about ESR, visit

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

© 2016 Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – Making copies or using of any part of the ESR News Blog or ESR website for any purpose other than your own personal use is prohibited unless written authorization is first obtained from ESR.

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