July 26, 2023

Government and Industry Criminal History Background Checks

Jay Harris

Government and Industry Criminal History Background Checks

Leslie Moore, Director, Information Services Division, Kansas Bureau of Investigation (Director, Compact Council)

Jay Harris, Outside Counsel, Consumer Data Industry Association

The demand for background checks—including criminal history record information—is ever-growing. According to the most recent Survey of State Criminal History Information Systems conducted by SEARCH/BJS, states processed 12.8 million and 14.6 million non-criminal justice fingerprint-based and name-based checks, respectively in 2020 for a total of over 27 million checks. By contrast, in a single year, larger members of the private Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) each process over 90 million checks. But how well do people understand what happens behind the scenes to make this vast quantity of information available promptly and accurately? The purpose of this session is to discuss 1) data sources used by government and private industry when compiling criminal history records, 2) how data is aggregated and updated, 3) who is allowed to access records in accordance with applicable privacy rules, and 4) how a citizen can access their own information and how to correct it when something is wrong.

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