Databases, County Courthouses, and Background Screening
The question of the fair and legal use of data is not a new one. It is a topic that will continuously be argued in and out of court and while the resolution of such a question may never be resolved. Every day billions of transactions are recorded and that information recorded is held in vast databases. Some information remains relatively benign, daily purchases at the grocery store or simple web site searches, and some information in data bases can have greater impact, such as a date of birth, social security number, or criminal history record.
Databases hold a great deal of information and have proven to be a valuable tool in a variety of ways. However, it should be noted that not all databases are internet based. The county courthouse is a repository to a significant volume of information.
A county courthouse holds the most up-to-date and current information an individual may have, especially in regards to specific interactions with government entities. Such activities may include permit processing, tax payments, and legal actions.
One area data becomes critical is with background screening. Databases and court records form the backbone of all background screening, from tenant and pre-employment checks to nanny/caregiver/volunteer screening. Without the combination of databases and court records background checks could not be conducted in an efficient, legitimate, or accurate manner.
Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com states: “Information is at the core of all screening methodologies. Without access to current and accurate records a background check can be worthless.”
A pre-employment background check is one of the most important tools a company can use in order to protect property and personnel. The information gathered in a thorough background check can inform a hiring manager or department and allow for the fair assessment and verification of an individual’s information.
Almeida states: “When conducting a background check information can be drawn from numerous sources, both databases and court records. But it is important to note that information can be incorrect. Databases are only as accurate as the information put into them.”
Errors can occur and consumers are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under the FCRA various steps must be taken should an employment candidate fail to move ahead in the vetting process due to information discovered in a background check, particularly a criminal background check.
From Cleveland.com (Nov. 01, 15):
The law requires that if something derogatory is reported on a background check, the applicant must receive a copy of the report and a letter outlining the procedure for filing a dispute. The vendor has 30 days to investigate the dispute and either keep or remove it from the record. (1)
Almeida states: “Under Federal law, the consumer has a right to challenge information found on a database or in a court record.”
In the end databases, both electronic and physical, remain important tools for pre-employment background screening. But consumers should be aware that there are key rights in order to protect the accuracy of specific information.
CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company that utilizes both databases as well as court records over the course of an investigation. Highly knowledgeable operators can assist companies large and small in developing pre-employment screening policies that utilize the most current and accurate information available.
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