Consumers Can Get Free “Specialty” Consumer Reports Starting December 1, 2004

SAN DIEGO, CA – The arrival of free credit reports on December 1st is getting a lot of attention these days. (www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm) But there is another kind of report, called “specialty consumer reports,” that individuals can obtain at no charge beginning on the first of the month. The federal law that requires credit reporting bureaus to provide free reports is the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, also known as FACTA. The law also gives consumers the right to one free report prepared by a “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency” that compiles files on consumers.

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.

Privacy Expectations in a High Tech World

Now, we're experiencing the explosion of commerce on the Internet. Web sites are able to capture data from their visitors, and to merge that data with other information. With the exception of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and a smattering of state laws regulating spam, or unsolicited electronic mail, there is little regulation of data collection on the Net.

So, what are consumers' experiences on the Net concerning their privacy? I will list several themes that I've observed in talking to consumers and in following news stories about online privacy abuses in recent months.

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."

Letter to the FTC on Job Search Industry Privacy Concerns

We are writing to draw your attention to the challenges consumers face as they search for jobs in today's rapidly evolving, information-rich environment. Both online and off, the machinery of the information economy has created a high demand for large compilations of job seekers' names, email addresses, and resumes. Perversely, the demand for job seeker information does not correlate to the availability of jobs nor the demand for workers.

Big Brother and the Hiring Process (Kelly)

Perhaps, as the unemployment rate continues upward, it might be appropriate to focus on subjects less lofty than the economy or the administration's policy toward it. Let's instead examine job applications and the human-relations people who review them.

Looked for a job lately? If you have, you know that just to apply you must reveal:

Your social security number.

Your complete educational background, regardless of relevance to the position, as well as the location of each school.

Your complete work history, whether relevant to the position or not.

My Experience with Internet Employment Site Careerbuilders.com

At the end of the 30-day probation period, I did not receive compensation My responsibility was to receive shipments from various technology companies in the United States and route them to their partners in Europe. At the end of the 30-day probationary period, I was to be paid $2000 and reimbursement of shipping costs.

or reimbursement for shipping. I started an investigation by contacting the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia and law enforcement in Latvia. It was determined that not only did this company not exist but the address had been used on other occasions to set up fake businesses.

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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