I hope that all of you enjoyed the holiday season. My family celebrates Christmas and we had a great time. Do you remember these words? 'Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the pad, not a creature was stirring, not even ole dad. The chimney was draped in the stocking routine, in hope that the fat man would soon make the scene.' These are the opening lines from the Beatnik version of Twas the Night Before Christmas, published by Mad Magazine. It is still hilarious for those of us who know what a 'beatnik' actually is. If you want a copy email me. Warning there are many knockoffs online.

Les Rosen Wrote about our last edition: HI Barry-Nice edition. However, I think it missed the boat on the story on Background Check Company's Investigative Efforts On Potential Job Candidate Do Not Violate The FCRA The real key point is that a screening firm conducted a reference on a current employer where there was no permission and where the applicant said DO NOT contact my current employer. This resulted in the candidate losing her current job. The plaintiff's lawyer was very innovative to try to bring an FCRA claims, but the court did not go for it. However, the applicant still has non-FCRA clams pending against the background firm and the recruiter, and the background firm still faces indemnification issues, so the case is very much alive. I will do a blog on this. Would not want people to think they can call current employers when they are not supposed to and that they are protected. This stuff does get pretty complicated. If you have a comment or feedback for us we would love to hear from you.

With the passing of 2011 "its out with the old and in with the new." We are excited about redesigning our web site and will be offering our Platinum Members the opportunity to add articles, white papers in the soon to be created Background Screening Knowledge Center. Each item posted to the Knowledge Center will have a registration form, thus this will become an ongoing source of potential leads for you.

We also will be launching a Background Screening Industry Onboarding Service to assist new professional staff that join background screening firms from outside of the industry to get key information to him or herto 'jump start' their understanding and knowledge of the industry.Our goal is to help your new hire get up to speed quicker and to start producing results for your business. Stay tuned for more information. are pleased to report that the initial sales for the 2012 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide are off to a good start. The Buyers Guide is now officially open for all of our Platinum Members to participate in. The Buyers Guide will initially be directly distributed to 10, 000 Human Resource Managers in June and distributed at the SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta. We will also distribute at several other major Human Resource trade shows, post an electronic copy to our web site for downloading and continue to distribute through out the year. With only our Platinum Members included its an exceptional and exclusive opportunity to feature your firm in a format where your firm will be highly visible. To reserve your space in the 2012 Annual Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide click here.

For our Platinum Members that are service providers and suppliers to background screening firms we are preparing our 2012 Winter edition of the Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Directory. Platinum Members you will be receiving a copy of your profile from the Summer/Fall edition next week. Please review, revise or send in a new profile as soon as possible. our readers that are suppliers to the background screening industry this is a great time to take advantage of a great opportunity to directly market your company to your target audienceand become a Platinum Member. By joining now you will be able to take advantage of our year end Special which will give you a complimentary eDirect Mail Campaign to our database of more than 1,600 background screening firms. This is a $650.00 value that you will get 'on the house.' In addition, if you join now you will be able to add a company profile to the Winter edition of our Suppliers to the Background Screening Industry Directory. We offer this value added service to our suppliers who are Platinum Members at no additional charge.

Please pass this newsletter on to your sales and marketing staff because an 'informed and knowledgeable' staff will be more effective.

Thank you for your readership this year and please have a joyous and safe New Year celebration.

M'bolani is hello in Fang language spoken in Gabon (French is language of instruction, but the largest tribal language is Fang spoken by more 25% of the population)

Volume 7, Edition 12, December 2011




EEOC Cautions Employers On Using Social Media In Hiring Decisions

Employers need to set guidelines for their HR staff on the use of social media in the hiring process. The guidelines should make clear that recruiters should not search online for information that they could not seek on an application or in an interview, such as race, age, religion, disability, union support, and any other class or activity protected by law. Since online searches may inevitably produce such information, guidelines and procedures that exclude such information from the decision-making process should be put in place. Employers may want to consider delaying such screenings to the post-offer stage.

To read more click here

Chart of Credit Legislation Introduced in US States in 2011

To date, 58 bills in 28 states and the District of Columbia were introduced or pending in the 2011 legislative session. The total number of states that limit employers' use of credit information in employment is now seven.

To read more click here

Many in U.S. Are Arrested by Age 23, Study Finds

A new study found that almost a third of Americans have been arrested for a crime by age 23.The study, the first since the 1960s to examine the arrest histories of a national sample of adolescents and young adults over time, found that 30.2 percent of the 23-year-olds who participated reported having been arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation; nearly a 10 percent increase from the 1965 study. Researchers say their results reflect growing exposure to the criminal justice system in everyday life and may be attributed to the justice system's increased aggression in reach and zero-tolerance policies in schools during the last 50 years.

"This estimate provides a real sense that the proportion of people who have criminal history records is sizable and perhaps much larger than most people would expect," said Shawn Bushway, a criminologist at the State University at Albany and a co-author of the study. The researches hope their study can alert physicians to signs that their young patients are at risk.

To read more, click here

Sandusky Denied Coaching Job in 2010 After Background Check

A year and a half after an investigation began into Jerry Sandusky's contact with young boys, the former Penn State assistant football coach applied for a volunteer coaching job at a central Pennsylvania college but was denied the job after a background check.Officials at Juniata College said that Sandusky applied for the volunteer football coaching job in May 2010 and was rejected the following month after a background check showed a high school where Sandusky previously volunteered was investigating him.Juniata spokesman, John Wall, said the college was not informed of the details of the investigation or the existence of a grand jury, but based on the report, informed its coaches Sandusky was not to have contact with the program."We basically did our due-diligence," Wall said.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight young boys. The information that Sandusky was still pursuing coaching opportunities amid an investigation into his activities comes as his attorney and prosecutors prepare for a preliminary hearing where several of his alleged victims could testify.Sanduskyhas denied being a pedophile and has vowed to fight the case.

To read more, click here


Police Departments Are Screening Tenants for Landlords

Concerns are being raised by activists that some local Police Departments in Alameda County and others across the country may be providing video tapes / DVDs to landlords and property owners that contain the images of the different types of renters, that the police believe the landlords should not be renting to. According to sources, some of the images being presented to landlords by the police portray the mentally ill in a ridiculous and extremely offensie manner, encouraging property owners to avoid renting to the mentally ill and other renters being targeted by the police for displacement from their local communities. Stay tuned for more on this story, as more details become available.

As is, the police in Alameda County are working in partnership with landlords and property owners in an effort to transform neighborhoods into what are being called "crime free communities," and have targeted some renters for displacement, especially those considered to be so-called "nuisance tenants" by the police, the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), and the Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County (RHANAC). The partnership between the police and property owners across the nation are on-going, and the police are involved in many different programs being implemented to run criminal background checks on individuals, couples, workers, students, and families with children that are seeking rental housing.

To read more click here


$7 Million Awarded to Estate of Killed Driver in Truck Accident Verdict

November 10, 2011 -- A Farmington, Missouri family received a $7 million verdict in their trucking accident lawsuit against defendant Dunaway Timber Company and its semi-truck driver, Morgan Quisenberry. Roger Reagan was killed when Morgan Quisenberry's trailer went across the center line (off-tracked) while taking a curve in the roadway. Quisenberry's trailer clipped a Jeep Cherokee; then Quisenberry's tractor crossed the center line and struck a Kia head-on and veered directly into the cab of the semi-truck Roger Reagan was driving.

The case, tried in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Arkansas primarily involved Quisenberry's qualifications to drive a commercial vehicle and Dunaway Timber's failure to appropriately screen its drivers, including Quisenberry. At trial, Emison introduced evidence that Quisenberry had lied on his application and had received two license revocations. Despite these infractions, Emison showed that Dunaway Timber Company could have easily discovered Quisenberry's previous infractions and, if Dunaway had done so, Quisenberry never should have been permitted to drive a tractor trailer. Jurors were told that Dunaway Timber could have learned about Quisenberry's license revocations with a simple background search that took only 15 minutes and cost $15.

To read more click here

Indiana's Criminal Expungement Statute

Indiana has passed a new criminal expungement law sometimes referred to as the "Second Chance Law." The Second Chance Law allows certain classes of individuals to petition a court for an order significantly limiting most third parties' ability to access the individuals' prior criminal records. It also allows those duly convicted of a wide variety of crimes to restrict public access to their criminal records eight years after they successfully complete their sentence.For employers who conduct criminal background checks as part of their application process, the Second Chance Law significantly restricts their ability to discover applicants' prior criminal conduct that may impact their suitability for employment. However, the law does contain exceptions that prohibit restricting access to records of crimes resulting in injury to persons or those classified as a Class C or higher felony.

Indiana's Second Chance Law clearly aims to prevent employers from considering expunged/restricted criminal history information in hiring and employment decisions on the notion that certain criminal offenses should not function as barriers to employment. It imposes criminal penalties on agency employees who fail to restrict criminal records as required by the statute or who disclose criminal records in violation of the statute. Therefore, employers confronted with these circumstances should proceed with caution when making hiring or other employment decisions based on criminal convictions that are eight or more years old.

To read more, click here

Be Cautious of How Far Back You Are Looking Into An Applicant's Civil or Criminal History

The U.S. Department of Justice has moved to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Fair Credit Reporting Act against a consumer reporting agency accused of violating § 605 of the Act. A woman filed suit against General Information Services, Inc. (GIS) when GIS performed a background check that included details about an incident that occurred more than seven years prior to the requested background check. According to the Act, consumer reporting agencies cannot provide adverse information, except for criminal convictions, "which antedates the report by more than seven years."

GIS claims that the seven-year limitation violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and that the Act's prohibition is a "content- and speaker-based restriction on speech," noting that the law does not prohibit employers from considering such information but prohibits reporting agencies from providing such information. The U.S. Government has thus intervened, taking a contrary position to protect the constitutionality of the Act's seven-year limitation.Employers must ensure that the consumer reporting agency they use performs searches that are in compliance with the Act in order to avoid being a co-defendant in a similar suit.

To read more, click here

California New California Requirements for Disclosure/Authorization Forms

New California law regarding background screening go into effect January 1, 2012 and require revisions to employers' disclosure/authorization forms.

Effective January 1, 2012, there is an important amendment to California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA), California Senate Bill 909 (SB 909), requires that employers include the background screening company's website address on the disclosure form. This additional provision is designed to make information available to an applicant about the background check company's privacy practices, including whether a consumer's personal information will be 'offshored' or sent outside the United States.

To read more click here

Fair Credit Reporting Act Lawsuit Filed Against Capital One

On December 6, 2011, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiff Kevin Smith in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, alleging Capital One illegally obtains background checks in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("the Act"). Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of all Capital One employees and job applicants for the past three years. The lawsuit accuses Capital One of violating the Act by burying its background check authorization in a job application including all sorts of extraneous information, and failing to provide copies of the reports when it used them to take adverse employment actions, such as refusing to hire an applicant. Employees and prospective employees may be entitled to statutory damages of between $100 and $1,000 for each violation.

Plaintiff's attorney E. Michelle Drake explains, "Consumer Reports are notoriously inaccurate. The Fair Credit Reporting Act exists in part to ensure employees have a say in who can pull their consumer reports and have an opportunity to contest any inaccuracies that they may contain."

To read more, click here

 Welcome to the U.S. Legal Challenge Question!

Sponsored By:

As the background screening industry continues to get more competitive the firms that will ultimately succeed will be those that create competitive advantage through their people by offering continuous learning opportunities to heightened their knowledge and capabilities. We believe that having employees that are very knowledgeable about the legal landscape of background screening is essential to continued success.

We are grateful to John Fay, Vice President of Products and Services and General Counsel at LawLogix, Inc for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. In his current role, John serves as, a leading provider of Electronic I-9 Compliance, E-Verify and Immigration Case Management Software and is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with rapidly changing immigration and employment eligibility rules.

For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact John Fay at(602) 357-4240and for more information about LawLogix e-verify and immigration support services please visit

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

Your company hires a new full-time employee on December 29, 2011, who will begin work on January 9, 2012. What is the latest date on which the Form I-9 must be completed in order to be considered timely?

1. December 29, 2011
2. January 9, 2012
3. January 11, 2012
4. January 12, 2012


GIS Lauded as One of Fastest Growing Companies in South Carolina

General Information Services, Inc. (GIS), a leading provider of background screening and talent acquisition solutions, has been recognized as one of the 25 fastest growing companies in South Carolina.The recognition, which comes from the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, was one of many in 2011. GIS was also recognized by the Chamber of Commerce as one of the largest private companies in the state as part of the South Carolina 100 and was recognized earlier in the year by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America.

While always looking to better their product lines by introducing new services and improving on others, GIS focuses on creating state-of-the-art hiring tools that clients can access at no additional charge. These tools help clients navigate hiring regulations both domestically and internationally, simplify the process of ordering background checks and ease the burden of new hire paperwork.

To read more, click here

Sterling Infosystems Becomes the Second Largest in the Industry

Sterling Infosystems Inc. announced it has acquired AISS, a leading background screening company, from Acxiom Corporation (Nasdaq: ACXM). William Greenblatt, Founder and CEO of New York City-headquartered Sterling, said, "The acquisition of AISS, one of our largest competitors, is a pivotal point in Sterling's history because it will make us the second largest background screening company in the world. It will furthermore allow AISS to realize its full potential by being part of a company that is solely focused on what AISS is focused on - background screening."

"Sterling Infosystems and AISS are a natural fit for each other," said Acxiom CEO and President Scott Howe. "This agreement will benefit both companies - AISS will be able to grow and gain a global footprint while Acxiom will have the ability to bring greater focus and investment to our core database and marketing services business."

This acquisition is the latest in a string of high-profile purchases Sterling has made over the past few years.

To read more click here

ESR Assured Compliance Offers Employers Automated Compliance with Employment Screening Laws Through Online Paperless AGR System

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) has announced the development of the "ESR Assured ComplianceSM" process that allows employers to automatically comply with federal and state laws governing employment screening background checks through the company's online paperless Applicant Generated Report (AGR) system that is constantly updated with required changes in hiring and employment regulations. For more information about "ESR Assured ComplianceSM,"visit .

Buoniconti Foundation Dinner Honors Man of The Year In Their Continued Efforts to Cure Paralysis

Davenport, IA - December 13, 2011 - Michael Duffy, President of Per Mar Security Services, was honored as the Man of the Year by the Chicago Chapter of the Buoniconti Foundation at a dinner at Gibson's in Chicago, Illinois. The Buoniconti Foundation was founded by NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti and Barth Green, MD and provides support to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The Miami Project is the world's most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

For more information go to

Rick Kurland Named a 2011 “Smart100 CEO

Employment Background Investigations, Inc (EBI), recently announced that President and CEO Richard (Rick) Kurland has been named a 2011 “Smart100 CEO” by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine. In the Baltimore SmartCEO Smart100 list that was published earlier this year, Mr. Kurland joins an elite group of local leaders. This highly competitive Smart100 Program recognizes companies and their CEOs who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, strategic vision, and character, providing them with the opportunity to help educate, motivate and inspire other decision-makers through their involvement with the program and magazine.

Mr. Kurland was truly honored to be among such an exclusive list of local leaders and recognized within the Smart CEO program. Mr. Kurland added, “It gives me great pleasure to share both my challenges and leadership success experiences with other local business leaders. I’m inspired and driven by the entire staff at EBI as they embrace my vision, passion and leadership style. This cohesiveness is what continues to propel our firm as a global industry leader.”

To read more click here


Maintaining Employee Privacy Across Jurisdictions

Companies need to be aware of their obligations under the profusion of data protection laws and regulations that govern the collection, use and transfer of their employees' personal information. This is especially crucial for companies that have operations subject to the laws of multiple jurisdictions, as requirements vary widely from country to country and even from state to state. As a rule, only personally identifiable information (personal data) is afforded special protection by data privacy laws and many, but not all data privacy laws exempt personal data that has been encrypted. It should also be noted that data privacy laws protect not only active employees, but also information from clients and customers, job applicants, consultants, independent contractors and terminated or retired employees.

Although U.S. law is trending toward stricter protection of personal data, the laws in other countries are often much more extensive than even the strictest U.S. standards. Employers should consider all legal requirements, whether local, state or provincial or nationwide, that may impact their data privacy policies and procedures. Failure to comply with data protection laws can result in penalties such as civil fines and sometimes, criminal prosecution.

To read more, click here

International Biometrics Privacy Charter

The Biometrics Institute launched its Biometrics Privacy Charter on November 30, 2011, during its 7th Biometrics Institute Technology Showcase and Exhibition in Canberra, Australia. The Charter is now available to all members.

"This Biometrics Privacy Charter has been designed by the Biometrics Institute to provide a universal guide for suppliers, end users, managers and purchasers of biometric systems," says Isabelle Moeller, General Manager of the Biometrics Institute, "it is the public's assurance that the biometric managers have followed best practice privacy principles when designing, implementing and managing biometric based projects."

The Charter is intended to be a guide across many different countries and jurisdictions. It takes into account the legislative and administrative frameworks of different countries but recognizes that biometrics and information technologies do connect beyond national boundaries and across different fields as diverse as health records, border controls, consumer based applications in the telecommunications industry, banking, and drivers licenses.

To read more, click here

The Importance of a Comprehensive Breach Response Strategy that Includes Insurance

Roughly 10% of companies in the United States purchase a comprehensive breach response strategy despite the fact that everyone needs it. Comprehensive coverage goes hand in hand with breach prevention, breach response and cyber liability insurance. Breach prevention includes hardware, software and corporate culture, and the quality of these components can greatly vary. An estimated 60 to 65 percent of breaches are caused by something internally, making underwriting a cyber liability policy difficult. Understanding a company's breach prevention strategy and their existing environment is the first step to building a comprehensive breach strategy, while securing a cyber liability insurance policy that fits into their breach response plan is the last step.

The cyber liability insurance market offers a variety of policies ranging from limited to complete control in the breach response process. Oftentimes insurance companies and brokers try to take many decisions out of the insured's hands, so it important for companies to find an insurance vendor who offers a policy that fits their specific needs, without giving away too much control.

To read more, click here


The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) Increased Again in November

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased in November to 103.7, up from the revised figure of 102.42 in October. The November figure is up 6.4 percent from the same month a year ago.

Says Gad Levanon, Director of Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board: "The Employment Trends Index posted a large increase for the second straight month, with all of its components showing gains over these two months. The better than expected growth in economic activity in recent months is likely to lead to some acceleration in job growth in the beginning of 2012. However, this improvement may be short lived, in particular as the U.S. economy slows down once again in the coming quarters."

To read more click here


The Ongoing Impact of the Recession - Overall Financial Health and Hiring SHRM Poll

Of the 73% of organizations that were currently hiring full-time staff, the majority (58%) were generally hiring direct replacements of jobs lost since the recession began. Nearly one-third (30%) of these organizations were hiring for completely new positions, while 12% reported they were typically adding new duties to jobs lost since the recession began. This is part two of a series of SHRM Poll findings on how the economic recession is impacting employers in the U.S.

Click here for more information on the poll and to view slide presentation.


U.S. Worker Use of Prescription Opiates Climbing, Shows Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™

September 16, 2010 — More American workers and job applicants are testing positive for prescription opiates, according to U.S. general workforce data in the 2009 annual Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) by Quest Diagnostics Inc. Results from more than 5.5 million urine drug tests reveal an 18 percent jump in opiate positives in the general U.S. workforce in a single year (2008 to 2009), and a more than 40 percent climb from 2005 to 2009.

To read more click here


We can help you have a high quality e-newsletter to help nurture your relationship with your clients and attract new clients. Our customized newsletter service will take over your newsletter task or create a new one for you. We can manage the creation of your newsletter for you.

We are constantly researching information to use for The Background Buzz and you can put our research to use for you. Using the information rich content from The Background Buzz (minus the ads and competitors information) we will create a custom newsletter for you.

Use your staff’s time to do more valuable work and save all the hassle of researching or writing articles, formatting and managing all the other ezine tasks with our customized ezine process.

Contact Barry Nixon at 949-770-5264 or at for more information.

 THE WASHINGTON REPORT BY MONTSERRAT MILLER Miller is a Partner with the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP and is based in Washington, DC. Ms. Miller's practice focuses on privacy and immigration compliance, as well as representation before Congress and federal regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Homeland Security.

You can contact Monterrat at or visit

The Richard Netter Conference - Conference on Criminal Records and Employment

I recently spoke at the Conference on Criminal Records and Employment, hosted by Cornell University's ILR Labor and Employment Law Program in New York City. The program agenda included a series of panels discussing how criminal records are reported in consumer reports, how consumer reporting agencies ("CRAs") operate, EEO law, what employers need to know when using criminal records, negligent hiring suits, re-entry issues, ban the box and others topics.

My panel, entitled "What Are the Issues of Uniformity/Inaccuracy in the Reporting of Criminal Records? How do Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) Operate?" was a good opportunity to talk about how CRAs operate pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and to shed more light on the role of CRAs, including during the dispute process. It was also a good opportunity to hear about concerns that local legal advocates assisting those with criminal records as they seek employment have with consumer reports generated by CRAs. Fellow panelist Sharon Dietrich from Community Legal Services discussed her concerns about inadequate matching criteria, reporting obsolete non-convictions, reporting of expunged cases, duplicative entries of the same case, confusing and prejudicial formatting and dispute processes that are difficult to use.

To read the full report click here


More Organizations Have Difficulty Filling Positions

According to a recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management , recruiters are having difficulty finding candidates to fill specific jobs - 52% of survey respondents report difficulty recruiting for specific jobs in their organization. To fill these positions, some organizations are beginning to hire from outside the U.S. But most are not, suggesting they're looking locally and domestically for the help they need. Those that have hired from outside the U.S. tend to be larger organizations - they are more likely than smaller organizations to have hired workers from outside the U.S. - yet only 23% of organizations believe they are facing global competition for qualified applicants for jobs they are having difficulty filling. However, with 26% of responding organizations including multinational business units it is no wonder the survey finds 24% have hired workers from outside the U.S.

To read more click here

Public Record Update

Sponsored by:

Public Record Update
By Mike Sankey,

 California Birth and Death Certificates

California Birth and Death Certificates

Effective January 1, 2012, the fee for a certified copy of a birth, death, or fetal death certificate increases by $2.00 per record. This increase will take place at the California Department of Heath (CADH) and also at the county level. The fees at various county clerk and recorder's offices vary and do not necessarily have the same fee structure as the CADH.

The fee increase is part of Assembly Bill 1053 signed by the governor. The legislation also provides for two additional $2.00 increases to take place January 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014. View AB-1053 at


 Motor Vehicle Record News


As of December, 2011. Arkansas Drivers may now request, view and print their own record online at . The name, DOB, DL, the DL issue date, and last five digits of the SSN are required along with a major credit card. The fee is $8.50 for an insurance record or $11.50 for a commercial record.

Another new development in Arkansas is the CDL Medical Certificate data will now displayed on commercial records. For more information about this certificate, visit


The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) recently signed a contract with NIC to provide E-Government services on behalf of Oregon state agencies. DAS has an agreement with DMV for the exclusive rights to have NIC provide access to electronic driving records through the new state web portal once developed. This new service only involves electronic driving records. Vehicle records are not part of the arrangement, nor are any other DMV records offered via electronic or hardcopy.

The changeover to the NIC processing will mean an significant increase in the cost of obtaining OR driving records. No timetable or fee change announcement has been made at this time. At present, the Oregon fee of $2.00 per electronic driving record is well below the national average of $8.39. The new fee is expected to be close to the national average.


The fee for an electronic driving record in Wyoming will increase from $3.00 to $5.00 effective January 1, 2012. The fee for a manually processed record remains the same at $5.00.

To read more click here


In Search of Fraudulent Documents: Does the I-9 Process Really Require Employers to be Enforcers?

Identity theft and the use of fraudulent documents is a national problem and in some instances it is a serious national security concern. While the temptation of pulling out a black light to avoid accepting a fraudulent document may exist, employers are not expected to be "document experts" when it comes to reviewing identity and work authorization documents for the I-9 process. Current I-9 policies only require employers to detect and report any obviously fraudulent documents.

But for those documents that are not so obviously fraudulent, the question of how far an employer should go before entering liable territory remains.Many don't believe that employers should be making hiring and firing decisions based on a process that requires them to act more like a detective than an employer. In fact, employers are more likely to be found liable for overstepping their boundaries rather than the latter. Therefore, it is advised that detailed document review should be left to the experts.

To read more, click here

Justice Department Sues Teaching Hospital for Pattern or Practice of I-9 Document Abuse

Today, the Department of Justice reminded us again that sometimes employers can go too far in their I-9 obligations, crossing that difficult (and often blurry) line between diligent review and discriminatory practices. The DOJ's latest reminder came courtesy of a press release, announcing the filing of a lawsuit by the DOJ's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) against the University of California, San Diego Medical Center (UCSD Medical) for discrimination in the Form I-9 process. According to the press release, the DOJ's independent investigation revealed that the medical center engaged in a pattern or practice of requesting excessive I-9 documentation from newly hired non-U.S. citizens (such as permanent residents, nonimmigrant visa holders, etc.) in order to verify or re-verify employment eligibility. The complaint seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by UCSD Medical, monetary damages for any individuals harmed by those actions, and civil penalties.

To read more click here


Apple Foils National Security Threat By Killing Fake Driver's License App

When Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook last week requesting that the app "Drivers License" be removed from the App Store, the company quickly jumped into action and the app was gone. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr., was convinced that the free iPhone app which allows users to create fake driver's licenses for entertainment purposes, posed a threat to public safety and national security. The high-risk app which had comfortably resided in the App Store since October of 2009

"By downloading 'License', anyone with an iPhone or iPad can easily manufacture a fake driver's license by taking a photo and inserting it into one of fifty state driver's licenses' templates," Senator Casey, wrote in his letter to Apple. "Users then have a high quality image resembling an actual driver's license which they can easily print, laminate, and use for any number of illegal and fraudulent activities."

To read more click here

Welcome to the International Legal Challenge Question

Most industries and firms now compete in a global marketplace which is continuing to increase the need for background checks for new hires that will reside in another country or that are being hired from another country. Commensurate with this growth in background checks is the need to understand the myriad of data protection, privacy, human rights and local laws that govern the practice of conducting background checks. To help background screening firms around the world to further enhance their knowledge we have launched this International Legal Challenge.

We are grateful to Brian Arbetter a Partner with the global law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP for providing the question and answer to the questions in the International Legal Challenge. Brian is based out of the Firm's Chicago and San Diego offices. His practice focuses on international law issues, with particular emphasis on labor and employment, as well as workplace privacy. For information regarding the answers to the International Legal Challenge questions, please contact Brian at

Please Choose One of the Following Answer in Response to the Question

The Italian Data Protection Authority (“Garante”), recently declared the data processing performed by the company, Aler (Azienda lombarda per l'edilizia residenziale) during its recruitment process (with the assistance of a screening company), unlawful. The Garante found that the following information and/or activities were not relevant to assess the eligibility of candidates for job positions within the company:

A. Questioning the candidates regarding their sex lives;

B. Submitting candidates' profiles to a psychologist for evaluation;

C. Researching candidates’ personal relationships; or

D. All of the above.

For information on sponsoring The International Legal Challenge Question please Click Here




Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Endorse Cross-Border Privacy Rules

On November 13, 2011, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ("APEC") leaders endorsed the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules ("CBPRs") system at an APEC meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Leaders' Statement also endorsed interoperability between national and regional privacy and data protection regimes to facilitate moving data around the globe while protecting privacy.

"Implementing the APEC Privacy Framework through Cross Border Privacy Rules enables greater information flows that support innovation and promote interoperability across global data privacy regimes, while enhancing data privacy practices; facilitating regulatory cooperation; and enabling greater accountability through the use of common principles, coordinated legal approaches, and accountability agents."

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Privacy Commissioner's Tough New Approach To Information Leaks

In a speech to the International Association of Privacy Professionals Australia/New Zealand ( iappANZ), delivered on 30 November, the Australian Privacy Commissioner summarised the tough new approach he will take to deal with companies that are careless with customer or user data. Under the current law, the Commissioner's determinations are enforceable in the Federal Court. The Australian Privacy Commissioner outlined strict new tactics stating that all businesses must have in place robust processes for the collection, storage, use and disclosure of information. This includes rigorous and ongoing training for all employees, the completion and retention of compliance records, and firm strategies in relation to managing contractual arrangements and, particularly, outsourcing provisions. This is especially, though not exclusively, so for transborder data flows and is particularly relevant for businesses considering using cloud computing services. Businesses should also strive to engender a culture of privacy awareness, confidentiality, data protection and best practice in dealing with personal information.

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Workplace Fraud Cost $3.2B Last Year

Fraud in the workplace cost Canadian small businesses $3.2 billion last year, an accountancy group says. The report published Tuesday by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA) found some 290,000 small and medium-sized enterprises were victimized by some sort of occupational fraud last year.

The survey of firms with less than 500 employees found that one in four, or 26 per cent, of companies had been cheated by an employee. The most common examples would be misappropriation of either company assets and inventory, or straight cash.

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Cayman Islands Working Toward Data Protection Framework

The government of the Cayman Islands is currently reviewing draft legislation that, if passed, would institute a robust data protection framework. The draft legislation comes four years after the Cayman Islands enacted the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law and will soon be available for public comment.The DPL "is modeled after the EU Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC) and on the UK's Data Protection Act 1998," says Deputy Information Commissioner Jan Liebaers. "It is structured more concisely than its predecessors, with consecutive parts dealing with principles, rights of data subjects, notification responsibilities of data controllers, exemptions, functions of the information commissioner and enforcement."

Additionally, the proposal would place the DPL under the "auspices of the existing freedom of information commissioner. "As deputy information commissioner," notes Liebaers, "I will likely play a central role in the planning and implementation of the new law and in the enforcement once it comes into effect."Liebaers says the driving force behind the draft bill is to gain adequacy status from the European Commission. Attaining adequacy, he says, would not only allow more fluid data flows, but also "strengthen links between businesses in the Caymans and the EU as well as multinationals which do business in the Cayman Islands." Fluid, strengthened links would make it "easier for EU businesses to outsource certain operations involving personal data to the Cayman Islands."

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Details of EU Data Protection Reform Reveal Dramatic Proposed Changes

EU privacy law is under scrutiny and proposals for change are coming. Changes are anticipated near the end of January. Some of the details of those changes, however, have emerged. The EC circulated for comment two proposed legal instruments that likely will form the baseline of the EU's data protection framework for years to come.

The first legal instrument is a draft General Data Protection Regulation, which sets forth a general framework for EU data protection and is intended to replace the 16-year-old Data Protection Directive with a region-wide regulation. The fact that the instrument is fashioned as a regulation is significant. Under EU law, regulations have binding legal force as soon as they are passed, whereas directives must be enacted into law by each individual EU Member State.

Besides the Regulation, the second legal instrument released is a draft Police and Criminal Justice Data Protection Directive. This directive sets forth rules relating to cross-border transfer and other processing of personal data for law enforcement purposes, with an eye toward facilitating the sharing of this information between law enforcement agencies while still complying with data protection law.

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Big Changes Ahead for Companies Handling Personal Data

On 8 July 2011, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region published the Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Bill 2011 (the "Bill") in the Government Gazette. This marks the beginning of the Bill's passage through the Legislative Council ("LegCo").

The Bill amends the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance ("PDPO"), which has remained unchanged since it came into force in 1996. It addresses key areas that have been the subject of recent high profile investigations, such as the Octopus case last summer, which brought the use of personal data in direct marketing into the spotlight.

The Bill introduces a number of new offences with heavy penalties at a level previously unseen under the PDPO - the highest being HK$1 million plus 5 years imprisonment for both sale and disclosure of personal data without consent. This represents a significant increase from the current penalties which peak at HK$10,000 and 2 years imprisonment.

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Final Version of Data Protection Law In Effect Today

Mexico has released the final version of its Regulations of the Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties, which includes minor changes to the prior draft, reports Hunton& Williams' Privacy and Information Security Law Blog. The final version includes "clarification of notice and consent requirements, changes to restrictions on cloud computing, updates to requirements regarding data transfers and clarifications regarding data subjects' rights," according to the report.



Data Bill Offers Companies Opportunities

The purpose of the legislation is to safeguard personal information by regulating the manner in which it may be processed, retained and destroyed. It is a replica of the European Union's (EU's) data protection directive. The bill is set to come into force within a couple of months.

DaniellaKafouris, senior manager of risk advisory at Deloittesays compliance is good for SA as it will facilitate international trade. "We are taking the next step (with the act) to align ourselves with our international counterparts." Countries that have the legislation are reluctant to trade with those that do not have it. The bill is expected to come into force in the first quarter of next year. Legal experts who have assessed the amount of work that needs to be done say companies should not underestimate what is needed to achieve compliance. The processing and safeguarding of personal information cover the life cycle of the information. Therefore, the compliance period is quite lengthy, says MsKafouris.

MsKafouris says companies should look at the principles of the act, and see it as an opportunity to begin a fresh relationship with their clients, allowing them to update their data and to engage in data cleansing.

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Ground Breaking Modification of the Spanish Laws

A decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) introduces an important change to the Spanish data protection framework. In the past, companies had to rely on data subjects' consent as the way of carrying out the majority of the data processing in Spain because they did not recognize the "legitimate interest" justification for the processing of personal data.

The ECJ concluded that the "legitimate interest" justification for the processing of personal data as set forth in the Data Protection Directive also should be available in Spain. However, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (SDPA) stated that companies may not carry out the processing of data exclusively based on their "legitimate interest," but will be required to balance both their "legitimate interest" and fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subjects involved in the data processing.

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The United Kingdom Could Get A Privacy Commissioner

The United Kingdom could get a dedicated Privacy Commissioner, according to a tabled discussion in the House of Lords. We learned of the tabled amendment via Privacy International, which pointed followers towards the document on Twitter and told the INQUIRER that such a change is needed in the UK, due to what is a poor data protection situation for UK citizens.

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Police Not Checking Backgrounds of Foreign Criminals, Report Warns

An official review found that UK police are only conducting background checks on one in seven foreign criminals, while tens of thousands are slipping through the cracks. In the courts last year alone, some 35,000 EU citizens were convicted but previous foreign offences were only sought from the Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records (UKCA) in 5,500 cases, meaning that judges did not know the full offending history of criminals when passing a sentence in the majority of the cases.

The report brought light to the serious issue of foreign criminals working in sensitive positions or with children without their employers knowing their true past. Funding cuts to the UKCA could make the problem worse and pose a "potentially huge" risk to the public, since the report revealed that more than one million crimesare not on the Police National Computer because forces are refusing to pay a fee to obtain the criminal history of offenders. It is recommended that potential employers should be allowed to request a foreign background check if the applicant agreed, and that more work should be done to include fingerprints along with previous convictions to stop offenders turning up in the UK claiming to be someone else.

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The British Standards Institute (BSI) Has Launched A Standard To Help Organisations Show They Have Robust Anti-Bribery Policies, Practices And Systems In Place

BS 10500 - Specification for an anti-bribery management system responds to a growing requirement and interest in an anti-bribery standard. Interest in the UK has increased in particular as a result of the UK Bribery Act which came into force in July 2011 and introduces a new offence of "failure of a commercial organization to prevent bribery". Compliance with the new British Standard, BS 10500, will help companies prove to both internal and external stakeholders that appropriate procedures are in place to prevent bribery.

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( Click Here to View full list of 2011 International Events ) - Updated Monthly


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