updated 08:30 pm EST, Tue February 7, 2012
May be violating consumer credit protection laws
The FTC has sent warnings to six developers of background checking mobile apps that their software may violate consumer credit protection law. The agency advised the six that their apps and the procedures surrounding them might not comply with the privacy protection provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Letters were sent to the three makers of the six apps, Evertify, InfoPay, and Intelligator.
Under the terms of the FCRA, consumer reporting agencies must make a reasonable effort to guaranty the accuracy of the information they collect and then turn around and provide to third parties. These client organizations are obligated to tell applicants if they were refused employment based on information contained in those reports. The reporting agencies are required by the law to tell customers to follow the FCRA requirement and let employees know.
The FCC hasn't determined whether or not the three companies have actually violated the law at this time, but has strongly suggested that they should review their policies, procedures, and the apps themselves to make sure they remain clear.
The apps in question are Police Records, marketed by Everify; Criminal Pages, sold by InfoPay; and Background Checks, Criminal Records Search, Investigate and Locate Anyone, and People Search from Intelligator. [via PCWorld]