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California Aims to Protect Consumers from Offshored PII

By Michael Klazema on 3/30/2012

The situation

Offshoring is running rampant in the United States. For many companies this is a standard and acceptable business practice. Most of the companies that offshore, however, are offshoring rather innocuous jobs – customer service, coding, things that don’t allow access to a person’s PII or Personally Identifiable Information.

The background screening business doesn’t fit into this category. While many outsource, it is the nature of the business that there is very little outsourcing that could be done that doesn’t include access to PII.

In response, the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRA), was updated. Effective January 1, 2012, any Consumer Reporting Agency (aka CRA aka background check company) that does business in California must have information regarding any offshoring of a consumer’s PII.

The bill, which is detailed here, states that this notification to the consumer should be part of the disclosure. Details regarding offshoring of PII don’t have to be divulged in the disclosure, however they must provide information for a website or telephone number where information regarding offshoring can be found.

 

The forecast

Many background screening companies, if they haven’t already complied, will be scrambling to update their privacy policies. backgroundchecks.com is not one of these. Why?

It’s not because we don’t care. It’s also not because we don’t have any locations in California and were hoping to skirt the rule that way. No, backgroundchecks.com isn’t adding a lengthy disclosure about offshoring for the simple reason that we do not offshore our processes. The only time we send work to anyone outside the US is when we are running an international background check that requires information that originates in another country.

So if you’ve heard about this bill, you can relax and kick up your heels because there’s nothing for you to worry about.

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