Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues

The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

When Background Checks Go Too Far: Screening Volunteer Master Gardeners

I was at a Maricopa County (Phoenix AZ) Master Gardeners meeting this evening (I am a Master Gardener volunteer) helping with applications for the next Master Gardener training course -- a 17 week training program to teach people in the Southwest how to garden and take care of their landscape plants here, plus a component of our internship program to become a Master Gardener Volunteer. 

The program is run by the University of Arizona. The University is now requiring background checks of applicants applying to take this course. The applicants are paying $275 to take the course and part of that fee also pays for their own background check.

Background Checks for Master Gardeners in Maricopa County.???!!! I am flabbergasted.

The Work Number's Employment Database May Contain Inaccurate Information Reported by Employer

San Diego, CA -- The Work Number provides authorized users usually within Human Resources departments with automated employment and income verification services of nearly 80 million employees of 1,000 participating employers. Problems brought to the attention of the PRC include allegations that job titles have been misreported, indicating that an employee had a lesser job title than indicated on their resume and inaccuracies specifically with Johnson & Johnson noting employee "termination" rather than separation.  Possible inaccurate records may affect the ability for employees noted in The Work Number records to gain employment with job prospects due to perceived inflated job titles and indications that a previous employee has been fired.

Et tu, School Board? An Essay on Fingerprinting of School Volunteers (Ritchey)

It was not one of our proudest moments. Groups of mothers with young toddlers bundled against a cold January wind struggled up the school administration stairs. Inside they joined senior volunteers waiting endlessly in a narrow hallway to be . appreciated? . honored? No, mugged and fingerprinted. Upon exiting, their facial expressions and reactions belied the spin congenially furthered by both the Times-News and School Superintendent Dr. Burnham, "We've had one complaint since the time we've started implementing this," he said. There may be a few people who are not appreciative, but for the most part we've had good support from volunteers and parents."

Employment Background Checks: Know Your Rights.

Taylor Thomas is left searching for a job after his employer of eight years fires him due to the bad economy. Taylor begins the roller coaster ride of the job search process. After eight interviews and eight rejections, Taylor is left feeling baffled. Two of the companies seemed ready to hire him. But, it's as if something happens between the interview and the hiring decision that changes their mind. All of his hope is pinned on the last remaining company...

Is something keeping Taylor from getting a job?


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