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FTC Warns Mobile App Background Checks May Violate FCRA

Lexology (02/13/12) John G. Kerkorian; Claire Ana-Perot McLamore

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has sent warning letters to mobile app makers Everify Inc., InfoPay Inc., and Intelligator Inc. about six mobile apps that may be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act if being used for employment screening. These mobile apps are Police Records, Criminal Pages, Background Checks, Criminal Records Search, Investigate and Locate Anyone, and People Search and Investigator. The letters urge the companies to carefully review their apps, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with the FCRA.

If the apps are subject to the law, consumer reporting agencies must take steps to protect individual privacy, make sure the information is accurate, and ensure employers know they are required to notify employees and applicants if information from the report is used in any adverse action. Experts say employers must be aware of the genesis of the consumer reports used in affirmative employment decisions.