Security Policy Brief: Background Check Legislation & the Security Industry

Drake Jamali in video screenshot

In this video, learn about recently introduced state bills related to background checks and identification, their impact on the security industry and how SIA is engaging on behalf of members on this issue.

Along with the Consumer Data Industry Association and the Professional Background Screening Association, the Security Industry Association (SIA) has recently signed on to an amicus brief to the California supreme court to urge them to take up an intermediate appellate case.

On May 26, 2021, the California 4th District Court of Appeal issued a troubling decision that provides for the removal of significant identifiers, such as date of birth or driver’s license numbers, from criminal records in Riverside County, California.

The date of birth of a criminal defendant and the defendant’s name are two of the principal identifiers that background screeners use to determine if a public record relates to a specific individual. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires background screeners – as consumer reporting agencies – to use reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy. A single identifier, such as name, is often insufficient to uniquely identify an individual. This would add considerable time in completing background checks on prospective employees and place an undue burden on employers to ensure their staff are qualified.

Background checks on industry personnel are essential to make sure that vendor security is not undermined by the people installing a security system or device in a client’s home or at their place of business. As such, SIA supports all measures that would make this process as safe, secure and efficient as possible.

We have also seen bills in over 20 states regarding ex-offender reentry professional licensing regulations. SIA is actively engaging on this issue and working diligently with a robust group of industry representatives called the Professional Certification Coalition to voice the industry’s concerns and ideally to stop any of these harmful bills from passing.

If you have any questions about SIA’s activities on background check legislation, please feel free to contact me at djamali@securityindustry.org.