FTC warns background check mobile apps makers they must comply with FCRA

With the ever-increasing trend of conducting background checks on job applicants, there has been a glut of new employment screening services and mobile apps that advertise the ability to quickly and inexpensively produce a criminal record on your would-be employee, blind date or new nanny. But one thing we’ve known in the industry for years is that there are no short cuts to proper pre-employment screening. Now the Federal Trade Commission is demonstrating their agreement, issuing letters to the makers of six such mobile applications, warning them that the apps must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The FTC warned the apps marketers that if they believe the background reports they provide are being used for employment screening, housing, credit, or other similar purposes, they must comply with the FCRA.

Some of the apps include criminal record histories, which could be used in employment and tenant screening. According to the letters, the agency has made no determination whether the companies are violating the FCRA, but encourages them to review their apps and their policies and procedures to be sure they comply with the law.

Don’t trust your business to any mobile app created by anyone other than a trusted employment screening service provider. The last thing an employer needs is to be inadvertently accused of wrongdoing, when they were just trying to do the right thing.


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Would Background Checking Applicants Benefit Online Dating Services?

If you’ve ever been set up on a really bad blind date, you know how valuable it would have been to had that date “screened”, at least informally.  But how about formally?

There’s a move afoot to encourage online dating services to background check their applicants in order to better serve the customers looking for friendship, love or companionship. 

Would background checks actually help?  We definitely think so — check out these top three advantages to online dating sites’ comprehensively screening clients:

→ There would be a smaller, but stronger, pool of candidates from which to choose.

→ The online dating company could ask for a premium price.

→ The clients of online dating sites would feel more comfortable with this kind of “cyber dating” knowing that part of the worry has been erased.

This isn’t to say that background checking would be a cure-all for every concern a dater has.  But it could produce huge advantages for both the clients and the company. 

We’ll keep you posted if/when we learn of an online dating service that’s switched over to background checks

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