How does PII Redaction affect pre-employment screening?
June 26, 2022
Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as any data which can be used to identify a specific individual, such as name, date of birth, social security number, address, etc. PII Redaction is the process of removing or masking some, or all of this information from public records, such as court documents, to protect the privacy and security of the individuals involved.
PII Redaction can affect you background screening your candidates in different ways, depending on the type and scope of the background check, and the state or jurisdiction where the check is conducted. Some states and/or jurisdictions have laws in place to redact PII from certain public records, such as criminal records, civil records, driving records, etc. This can make it harder for employers and background screening companies to verify the identity and history of the candidates, and to comply with federal and state laws and regulations.
For example, California has a law that requires courts to redact the date of birth of individuals from criminal records that are available to the public. This can pose a challenge for background screening companies that need to match the records with the candidates based on their name and date of birth. For instance, if a candidate named John Smith has a common date of birth such as 01/01/1990, and there are multiple criminal records with the same name but different dates of birth, it can be difficult to determine which record belongs to the candidate without seeing the non-redacted date of birth.
Michigan has also taken steps to reduce PII court filings and records. This includes date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, passport number, and financial account numbers. According to the Michigan Supreme Court, protected PII should not be included in any public document or attachment filed with the court, except as provided by the rules. The court must also review and redact any social security numbers on copies of public documents filed on or after March 1, 2006. These measures are intended to strengthen the security of PII and prevent identity theft.
Similarly, New York has a law that requires courts to redact the social security number of individuals from civil records that are available to the public. This can make it difficult for background screening companies to verify the identity and credit history of the candidates based on their name and social security number. For example, if a candidate named Jane Doe has a common name and a low credit score, and there are multiple civil records with the same name but different social security numbers, it can be hard to confirm which record is related to the candidate without seeing the non-redacted social security number.
One way to overcome these challenges is to use a CRA such as Vault Workforce Screening, that can request access to non-redacted records from official sources, such as courts, law enforcement agencies, motor vehicle departments, etc. By using a CRA, employers and background screening companies can obtain accurate and complete information about the candidates without violating their privacy rights or compromising their security. A CRA can also help expedite the background check process by providing timely and reliable results. A CRA can also help employers and background screening companies avoid potential legal risks and liabilities that may arise from using inaccurate or incomplete information from redacted records.
We are currently offering a free 30-minute screening program review with our compliance experts. Schedule today and we'll step through every aspect of your program and where you may be able to improve, as well as how you can successfully navigate PII redaction regulations. There is no obligation or risk involved, and you'll receive a free report you can review with team members following the consultation.
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