Background check, mate?
If you’re applying for a job or trying to rent an apartment, the employer or landlord might conduct a background check. They may hire a company to provide information like your employment history, your driving record, any criminal records, and your credit report. The information in the background report could make the difference in whether you get the job or apartment, so it’s important it be accurate.
Two companies that each made millions of dollars selling background reports, but didn’t take reasonable steps to make the reports completely accurate, recently settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and FTC Act.
Instant Checkmate, Inc., promoted its profiles for screening prospective employees and tenants, but the company didn’t have reasonable procedures to ensure the reports it delivered were accurate. It also didn’t require customers to identify themselves or confirm they had a legally permitted reason to get someone’s background report.
InfoTrack Information Systems Inc. didn’t follow reasonable steps when it came to creating some employment reports, and it sent more than 400 reports to employers saying an applicant was a “possible match” with someone on a national sex offender registry — solely because the applicant and the offender had the same first and last name.
Both companies failed to tell employers to give an adverse action notice to any applicant they decided not to hire because of some data in the screening report. An adverse action notice tells an applicant there might be an error in a report that needs correcting.