Privacy Policy

BackgroundsOnline.com's Privacy Policy

Last updated: June 13, 2017

Backgrounds Online is a consumer reporting agency governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") as well as other state and federal laws. It is required by the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. to maintain the confidentiality of all consumer information. We respect and are committed to protecting your privacy. Our privacy policy is intended to describe how we use and handle personal information as it pertains to your usage of our web site located at http://www.backgroundsonline.com.

Collection of personal and non-personal information
Backgrounds Online obtains information on an individual consumer only upon the request of a user who has a permissible purpose under the FCRA to request information on that consumer in order to provide consumer reports. The FCRA requires a user for employment purposes to certify to us that it has a permissible purpose for the report and has obtained the written consent of the consumer to request information before we can supply the requested information (there is an exception for employer investigations of suspected employee misconduct or for compliance with law or employer policies, e.g., sexual harassment investigations). The user must submit to reasonable audits by us to confirm that it is, in fact, obtaining such consents. All users must certify that they have a permissible purpose to request a report. Our customers agree to keep your information confidential and secure. Backgrounds Online does not maintain a database of consumer information.

Every consumer who is the subject of a background check has the right, under the FCRA and other laws, to a copy of the report free of charge. Consumers may contact us at the address or phone number listed at the bottom of this Privacy Policy to obtain a copy of a report we have conducted on them. Consumers must request their report in writing and we will need proper identification in order to protect each consumer. We will mail a copy of a consumer's report within 7 days of receiving the request.

Our clients provide us with personal information in conjunction with the collection and preparation of employment related background checks. Personal identifying information is only collected with the consumer's (or the subject of the report) consent. We do not share this information with outside third parties except for what is necessary to complete the requested services. We only accept third parties who have a privacy policy in place and take proper security measures with personable identifying information.

Any information gathered on any consumer may only be provided to the user authorized by the consumer or permitted by the FCRA or similar state law to receive the information. We cannot and do not share, sell or distribute consumer information with or to any third party other than the requesting party thereof. Any consumer, upon proper identification, has the right under the FCRA to request us to furnish to the consumer any and all information we have on that consumer. The consumer has the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the consumer's file. However, we may be required, upon receipt of a court order to release the information in civil litigation, or as otherwise required by law, to disclose information regarding a consumer to law enforcement agencies.

When requesting information through one of our online forms, you may be asked to enter your name, company name, company information, and/or contact information. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.

Additionally, we collect anonymous information from all users to track how our site is used in general. This information includes: how many pages users visit, how long they spend on our site, what pages are viewed, and how they found our site. This information does not include personal identifying information, other than your computer's IP address.

What do we use your non-personal information for?
We use information we collect primarily to enhance our website with features that we intend to be useful for our visitors. Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

Do we use Cookies?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site transfers to your computer's hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow). They enable the site to recognize you and capture and remember certain information as it relates to your usage of the site. Our cookies do not store personal information, or information which will later be used to identify you by any member of our staff.

We primarily use cookies to understand and save your preferences for future visits, and for authentication purposes.

EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Provisions of Our Privacy Policy

Backgrounds Online voluntarily complies with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information transferred from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States, respectively. Backgrounds Online has certified that it adheres to the Privacy Shield Principles of Notice, Choice, Accountability for Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation, Access, and Recourse, Enforcement and Liability. If there is any conflict between the policies in this privacy policy and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles shall govern. To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, and to view our certification page, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/

  1. Notice
    Backgrounds Online voluntarily participates in the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks and self-certifies according to the requirements of the program. To see the Privacy Shield list, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/list.

    Backgrounds Online gathers Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about consumers in order to provide employment background checks for its clients to utilize in employment related decisions, such as hiring, promotions or reassignments. Our clients certify that they have obtained the consumer's consent, in writing, and that they are requesting a background check for employment purposes or another FCRA permissible purpose; and they will only utilize the results for legally permissible purposes under the FCRA.

    Information gathered in the course of a background check may include, but is not limited to: arrest and conviction history, previous addresses, educational and employment history, credit reports and motor vehicle records. Our clients determine the extent of the background check they are ordering.

    Backgrounds Online is committed to subjecting all data/PII we collect from the EU or Switzerland to the Principles established by the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework. We will not use or sell the information gathered on consumers for any purpose other than those requested by our clients. Our adherence to the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework is guaranteed via a set of strictly enforced internal policies.

    PII is only disclosed to third-party entities for the purpose of creating or confirming the results of FCRA permissible background check reports. These reports are used to make employment based decisions, such as whether or not to hire, retain or promote an individual. No data about a consumer will be transferred to a third party if that consumer has chosen to opt out (by not signing a Release of Information form) from allowing their data to be disclosed to third party entities.

    Individuals who have questions about this Privacy Policy, or who wish to issue a complaint, may do so by submitting a request via email to support@backgroundsonline.com, or by contacting us via phone at 800-838-4804 extension 5100.

    Backgrounds Online only discloses personal information to entities that will use this information to make employment based decisions, as previously described within this "Notice" section. No data about a consumer shall be disclosed to any third party, unless that consumer authorizes Backgrounds Online to do so.

    Backgrounds Online is subjected to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

    Please note that Backgrounds Online may be required to disclose personal information in response to a lawful request by public authorities, including meeting national security or law enforcement requirements.

    Regarding onward transfer, Backgrounds Online is responsible for processing the EU and Swiss PII the company receives, and then transferring that data to any third party that is acting as an agent on behalf of the company. Any third party that processes data on behalf of Backgrounds Online is expected to adhere to the Principles established herein.

  2. Choice
    Backgrounds Online gives consumers the opportunity to opt out of whether their personal information will be disclosed to a third party or used for a purpose incompatible with the purpose for which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized. For sensitive information, affirmative or explicit (opt in) choice must be given if the information is to be disclosed to a third party or used for a purpose other than its original purpose or the purpose authorized subsequently by the individual. Backgrounds Online shall treat any PII received from a third party as highly sensitive.

    If you are a consumer who would like to prevent an employer from conducting a background report on you, then you only need to refuse to sign the Release of Information form when it is presented. If you choose to opt out after a background check has been conducted, your information and data is not necessarily deleted or destroyed as some state and federal laws required that the information gathered be maintained for specific time periods for the protection of the consumer.

  3. Accountability For Onward Transfer (Transfers to Third Parties)
    In order to provide our services, Backgrounds Online will contract with third parties to perform functions on our behalf. Backgrounds Online defines third parties to include, but not limited to, service providers, suppliers and repositories. When Backgrounds Online transfers personal information to a third party entity (one that is acting as a controller on our behalf), then they must comply with the "Notice" and "Choice" Principles listed above. Prior to providing services on behalf of Backgrounds Online, the third party must enter into a contract which provides that data may only be processed for specific and limited purposes, and those purposes must be consistent with the consent that is provided by the consumer. Further, the third party contract will stipulate that the recipient of this data will offer the same level of protection that is specified by the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks, and that they must notify Backgrounds Online if they are not capable of meeting this obligation. If such a determination is made, then, in accordance with the contract, the third party will stop processing on behalf of the company, or take other reasonable and appropriate steps to remediate. We do not allow contracted companies or individuals to share any information with any third party other than with Backgrounds Online's clients and subcontractors. Except where required by law or as stated in our Privacy Policy, we will not use or disclose any Personally Identifiable Information that a consumer provides or that we collect from other, non-agent third party sources. If this practice changes in the future we will update this policy and provide individuals with opt-out choice.

    When transferring EU or Swiss PII to a third party controller, Backgrounds Online will:

    1. Only transfer data for limited and specified purposes
    2. Ascertain that the agent is obligated to provide at least the same level of privacy protection as is required by the Principles
    3. Take all reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure that the agent effectively processes the personal data in a manner that is consistent with the obligations held by Backgrounds Online via the Principles
    4. Require the third party to notify Backgrounds Online if they conclude that they are unable to meet their obligations and/or provide the level of protection that is required by the Principles
    5. Provide a summary or a copy of the relevant privacy provisions of our contract with the third party agent to the Department, should such a request be made
    6. In the event that a third party notifies Background Online of their inability to meet the obligations listed above, or provide the necessary level of protection, then Backgrounds Online shall take reasonable and appropriate steps to stop and remediate any and all unauthorized processing.
  4. Security

    Backgrounds Online implements a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you choose to submit information to us.

    We offer the use of a secure server. All login and post-login information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our gateway and database only to be accessible by authorized employees with special access rights to such systems, all of whom are required to keep the information confidential.

    After a transaction, your private information will be kept on file as required by law for record-keeping purposes and for the purpose of assisting you further at a later date.

    Backgrounds Online will take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect any and all personal information we collect from loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. While doing so, we will take into account the nature of personal data, and the risks that are involved with processing such data.

  5. Data Integrity And Purpose Limitation

    Backgrounds Online only collects data that is strictly necessary for the purposes listed under the section titled "Notice." This data includes information necessary to identify a consumer for purposes of collecting employment related information. Backgrounds Online makes every reasonable effort to assure maximum possible accuracy in the information collect. We only process personal information in a manner that is compatible with the purposes for which it was collected and authorized by the consumer. Backgrounds Online takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that personal data is accurate, complete and current, but the company cannot be responsible for errors within court records and within the records of other consumer reporting agencies, such as credit bureaus. Backgrounds Online maintains strict procedures to insure public record information, that may have an adverse effect on a consumer, is accurate and update as required by the FCRA Section 613 (a)(1)(2).

    Backgrounds Online will retain personal information for as long as it is necessary to complete an identification or background check report, or to the extent that the data serves a necessary purpose. When this occurs, processing of such data is subject to the Principles and provisions of the Framework. Backgrounds Online agrees to take reasonable and appropriate measures to comply with this provision.

  6. Access

    Backgrounds Online recognizes the individual's right to access their personal data. Consumers who wish to access the data that is collected about them by Backgrounds Online may do so by submitting a request by email at support@backgroundsonline.com, or by contacting us via phone at 800-838-4804 extension 5100. Backgrounds Online will provide the consumer with this data in a manner that maintains the confidentiality and security of said data.

    Consumers will be granted access to the personal information we obtain, and shall be given a method to dispute that information with the intent of correcting, amending or deleting inaccuracies. This access will not be granted when the burden or expense of providing access is disproportionate to the risks to the individual's privacy, or where the rights of persons other than the individual would be violated.

  7. Recourse, Enforcement and Liability

    Backgrounds Online has further committed to refer unresolved non-human resources privacy complaints under the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles to BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD, a non-profit alternative dispute resolution provider located in the United States and operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, please visit www.bbb.org/EU-privacy-shield/for-eu-consumers/ for more information and to file a complaint.

    Finally and in limited circumstances, unresolved EU or Swiss complaints may be heard before the Privacy Shield Panel, a binding arbitration mechanism.

    Regarding onward transfer, Backgrounds Online is responsible for processing personal information under the Privacy Shield, and then transferring that data to a third party that is acting as an agent on the company's behalf. Backgrounds Online shall remain liable under the Principles if its agent processes personal information in a manner that is not consistent with the Principles, unless the organization is able to provide that it is not responsible for an event that caused damage.

    If, at any point, Backgrounds Online should be subjected to an FTC or court order due to non-compliance, then the company shall make public any relevant Privacy Shield-related sections of any compliance or assessment report submitted to the FTC, to the extent consistent with confidentiality requirements. A Department has been established that is a dedicated contact for any compliance issues by Privacy Shield organizations. Priority will be given to referrals of non-compliance from the Department and EU Member State authorities, and will exchange information regarding referrals with the referring state authorities on a timely basis, subject to existing confidentiality restrictions.

    In compliance with the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles, Backgrounds Online commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information. European Union or Swiss individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding this privacy policy should first contact Backgrounds Online at support@backgroundsonline.com.

    In the event Backgrounds Online is unable to accommodate a Swiss individual's complaint regarding HR data received by us within the context of the work relationship, we further commit to working with the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC). For information on how to contact the FDPIC visit https://www.bk.admin.ch/themen/dschutz/index.html?lang=en.

    Backgrounds Online has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles to an independent dispute resolution mechanism, the BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD, operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, please visit http://www.bbb.org/EU-privacyshield/for-eu-consumers for more information and to file a complaint.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

Backgrounds Online's website is not intended for children under the age of 13 and we will not knowingly collect any personal information on individuals in this age group.

Your Consent

By using our site, you consent to our website's privacy policy.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact us using the information below.

Jennifer Wiehl
Director of Compliance
Backgrounds Online
1915 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
jen.wiehl@backgroundsonline.com
800-838-4804 ext 5100