December 10, 2019 — Report

How errors by criminal background check companies continue to harm consumer seeing jobs and housing

This report provides an update to the 2012 Broken Records report. Today, the background screening industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with about 94% of employers and about 90% of landlords using background checks to evaluate prospective employees and tenants.

Background screening companies now generate reports through largely automated processes. Generally, they run automated searches through giant databases of aggregated criminal record data. Reports may undergo only minimal, if any, manual review or quality control before an employer or landlord receives them. The data included in reports often is purchased in bulk through intermediaries or obtained from
websites via web scraping technology. The data often is incomplete, missing key personal identifiers. It also may be infrequently updated.