Background Screening Laws Go Mobile

You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to background screening on job applicants.

A January 2013 post from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted a recent settlement with Filiquarian Publishing, LLC; Choice Level, LLC; and their owner Joshua Linsk, for violations of the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) related to mobile apps. It’s the first FCRA enforcement action against a mobile application developer.

Filiquarian offered mobile apps for conducting criminal background checks. Choice Level conducted the actual background checks.

The complaint against the companies included:

  • failure to maintain reasonable procedures to verify who their users are and that the information would be used for a permissible purpose
  • failure to have procedures to ensure that the information they provided in consumer reports was accurate
  • failure to provide notices to users and to those who furnished Filiquarian with information that was included in consumer reports

Additionally, Filiquarian Publishing and Choice Level published disclaimers indicating the information shouldn’t be used to screen individuals for insurance, employment, loans, or credit purposes AND that they did not comply with the FCRA. However, the FTC responded that producing consumer reports automatically triggered the “company’s obligations under the FCRA.” No disclaimer could eliminate this.

Failing to implement any of the accuracy, dispute, or other safeguards required by the law could harm people’s reputations and employment prospects.

In fact, the FTC blog noted that Filiquarian specifically advertised their reports “could be used for hiring decisions on potential employees.”

The consent order bars Filiquarian Publishing, et al from several actions and requires more due diligence on their part. Additionally, the company must maintain records showing compliance with the order for five years.

Make sure the background screening tools you use are above reproach. TruDiligence is a full-service background screening and investigative firm. We specialize in FCRA complaint background checks. To learn more about our fast, accurate, and comprehensive services, contact us today.

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