FTC Releases Misguided Information About Criminal Background Checks

Jason Morris

FTCA few days ago the Federal Trade Commission released some inaccurate information to consumers regarding criminal background checks.  In an excerpt:

Your credit report has information about where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to employers, creditors, insurers and other businesses that, in turn, use it to evaluate your applications for employment, credit, insurance, or renting a place to live. Employers also are allowed to use credit reports to evaluate an employee for retention, promotion or reassignment. That’s why it’s important to review your credit report periodically and to make sure the information it contains is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Your credit report is available to you for free, once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies, if you ask for it.

Most of the above information is true, however the part about arrests and what a credit reporting agency even does is misleading.  I believe the author has confused  the difference between a credit reporting agency and a consumer reporting agency.  A credit reporting agency would be a company such as Equifax, Experian and Transunion, companies that are in the business of selling credit reports.  A consumer reporting agency (as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act) would be a company such as EmployeeScreenIQ or any full member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).  These Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) would in fact provide the other information the article refers to.  The article however does lend some good advice to consumers but should be amended to provide the distinction described above.  For the full article click here!

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