Complaint claims violations of the California ICRAA by the Consumer Reporting Agency
Written by Thomas Ahearn, editor-in-chief of the ESR News blog
A complaint filed in California County Superior Court in San Francisco claims that a Consumer Information Agency (CRA) violated the Consumer Information Agencies Act (ICRAA), California Civil Code § 1786 AND SEQ. The ICRAA “regulates the purchase, content, and use of criminal, credit, medical and other background checks by credit bureaus and employers.”
The complaint states that the defendant – a California-based CRA – performs background checks for employment purposes. The ICRAA places strict requirements on California rating agencies and employers. In order to protect the interests of privacy and the accuracy of personal information during background checks, the ICRAA contains numerous provisions on what should be disclosed to consumers.
The California legislature passed the ICRAA in 1975 to regulate investigative rating agencies and protect California consumers from abuse in the background check industry. As stated in the preamble to ICRAA, the legislature concluded that: “It is necessary to ensure that investigative rating agencies exercise their serious responsibilities with fairness, impartiality and respect for the law of the consumer privacy. “
With the dramatic increase in the use of background checks by employers and the technological capabilities of rating agencies tasked with protecting personal information, the legislature amended the ICRAA in 2010 through Senate Bill 909. of California (SB 909) which addressed the practice of “offshoring” of antecedents. check services that process Personally Identifiable Information (PII) outside of the United States.
According to the analysis of SB 909: With the increase in the number of US companies outsourcing for off-shore services, there is a high likelihood that the applicant’s personally identifiable information will end up overseas, beyond US life protection law. privacy, in a foreign call center or data processing site where there is little or no privacy protection. Statistics show that offshoring is a substantial risk to privacy and data security in the United States.
California Civil Code Section 1786.20 (d) requires that a consumer investigation agency doing business in that state “conspicuously publish” on its primary Internet website information describing its privacy practices with respect to concerns the preparation and processing of consumer investigation reports. The privacy statement should clearly include, but not be limited to, the following two elements:
- (A) A statement titled “Disclosure of Personal Information: United States or Overseas,” which indicates whether personal information will be transferred to third parties outside of the United States or their territories.
- (B) A separate section which includes the name, mailing address, email address and telephone number of representatives of the consumer investigation agency who can assist a consumer with additional information regarding practices or privacy policies of the consumer investigation agency in the event of a compromise of its information.
The complaint (file number: CGC-16-549717) also claims that the CRA’s disclosures are “incomplete and illegal” and violated the ICRAA by “failing to disclose to complainants and other consumers how their personal information would be. processed and whether their information would be outsourced. The plaintiffs bring this action for damages, litigation costs and expenses, and attorney fees.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a member of Concerned CRAs, a group of like-minded Consumer Information Agencies (CRAs) concerned about the future of the employment background check industry. The members of the CRAs concerned undertake to avoid relocating the personal information of Americans abroad to foreign countries. More information is available at www.concernedcras.com.
To alert US-based employers and job seekers to the potential dangers of “offshoring,” ESR Founder and CEO, attorney Lester Rosen, wrote a free white paper titled “The Dangers Outsourcing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) outside the United States ”which details the risks of sending PII to countries that are well beyond the scope of US privacy and spoofing laws identity.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) and undergoes annual SOC 2 audits to protect the security, privacy, and privacy of consumer information used for background checks. To learn more about ESR, please call the toll-free number 888.999.4474 or visit www.esrcheck.com.
ESR reminds readers that any allegation made in litigation does not constitute evidence that a company or CRA has violated any law, rule, or regulation. There were only allegations at the pleading stage and no factual ruling. The fact that a request for a jury trial has been made in the context of a prosecution does not mean that there has been a finding of liability or that facts have been determined or that a settlement has been reached on time. current.
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