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Background Check Apps Get FTC Warning

PERSONAL PRIVACY—U.S.

February 7, 2012

The Federal Trade Commission has warned the marketers of six background screening mobile applications to review their policies and procedures and make sure they comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Under FCRA, companies that "assemble or evaluate information to provide to third parties" for the use of employment, housing, credit or similar purposes must take steps to ensure the users of the reports have a "'permissible purpose' to use the report" and "take reasonable steps to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information conveyed in its reports," among other obligations. The letters state, "If you have reason to believe that your background reports are being used for employment or other FCRA purposes, you and your customers who are using your reports for such purposes must comply with the FCRA."
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