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Data privacy - taking a cue from South Carolina

By Michael Klazema on 12/19/2012

In South Carolina, home to backgroundchecks.com's eastern operations center, intense scrutiny has been brought to bear on data privacy and data security after an embarrassing data breach at the South Carolina Department of Revenue that effected millions – everyone who has paid South Carolina state taxes since 1998 and everyone who was listed as a dependent on those returns.

The worst part is that the information that was confirmed stolen was unencrypted Social Security Numbers. This is a basic step that could have been done to protect people, but instead the Department of Revenue relied solely on a firewall, meaning that now millions of people have to be hyperaware of their credit history to try to thwart the inevitable stolen identities.

This panic is something everyone wishes to avoid, which is why data security and data privacy is so important when it comes to background screening companies. Because of the nature of our business, backgroundchecks.com handles information as sensitive as the information stolen from SC’s Department of Revenue.

The key is that we know that our data security is instrumental in keeping the company in business. We invest heavily in keeping up with the times, using secure technology to keep private client communications private and to keep our physical location secure. While this is something most background screening companies do, backgroundchecks.com goes a step further by keeping Personally Identifiable Information in the U.S., bucking the trend set by many other background screening companies. Where others are sending personal information overseas to cut costs, we have more respect for data security than that. No customer service is performed overseas, no checks are performed overseas (with the obvious exception of international checks), nothing. We keep your data in the U.S. where we have strict data privacy standards.

More importantly, though we take every step we can to protect data as it is, we are looking to the South Carolina breach and learning from it. As they say, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others and we are hoping to be the wisest of them all.


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