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I have a contracted client whose using a professional background check firm to pre-screen all new-hires for any criminal history. We recently discovered their in-house security department is performing criminal background checks on random "high risk" employees and customers without either being notified of same. Our client feels a duty under the guise of "protecting the business", however it appears to be driven more as a cost saving measure. I beleive this activity will end up costing far more on the other legal liability side of things.
I have several concerns and must advise my client accordingly. I would appreciate any input you can provide.
1. Is the data resulting from these criminal background checks being obtained "illegally"?
2. Is precedence being set, as in their already having contracted an established background check firm to perform criminal background checks verses allowing in-house security personel to perform same without any controls in place designed to protect their findings?
3. If this practice were legal, must my client notify their employees and customers of these criminal background checks and further allow for a copy of these findings?