27 April 2005 at 11:01:45 PM
Rapsheets, bought by Choicepoint last year, provides instant background checks to employers and organizations. Previously, if a negative entry was given to the person asking for the background check, the person who it was being run on was not notified (this despite Choicepoint assuring customers it was complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.. Now
Effective April 25, whenever a customer runs a background search on someone through the Rapsheets database for employment- or volunteer-screening purposes and the search unearths a criminal record for that person, Rapsheets will automatically notify the person and provide him or her with a copy of the background report and the name and address of the organization that requested it.
What this doesn't cover, because a person is only notified if the report shows a criminal record:
Givens said that even if ChoicePoint and its business divisions do diligently comply with the FCRA from now on, consumers are still at a disadvantage as long as the companies aren't required to notify consumers whenever a database company gives out any information about them, even if it's not related to employment or volunteer screening. The FCRA does not require data brokers to do this.
"This doesn't cover idle snooping," Givens said. "If I have a conflict with my neighbor and I want to dig dirt on him, it can still be done. Or a stalker who wants to find a location of his ex-girlfriend could also use Rapsheets.com and (the company would) not have to notify the girlfriend."
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