Do Background Checks Invade People’s Privacy?

Do you think that background checks invade people’s privacy?

Well, we all have at one point in our lives.

But, to know if it is okay to perform a background check, we must, first of all, understand what it is, why it is important, when you should conduct one and why you shouldn’t assume that knowing more about a person or an institution would be an intrusion of privacy.

What is a Background Check?

It’s the process that involves digging deep into an individual’s or organization’s criminal and/or financial records and commercial details. It entails reviewing both confidential and public information to investigate one’s past. Background checks are commonly conducted by employers on potential hires for various positions. The government may also carry out these checks on her citizens to provide security clearances required by some federal positions.

Why are Background Checks Important?

  • They confirm one’s identity

We conduct background checks to confirm what an individual claims to be. When applying for a position in a company one details their bio-data in their resume but most employers will want to confirm if the details are valid.

  • They reveal past criminal records

As an employer, you want to be sure the people you’re looking to hire have no criminal record. A history of a criminal activity on an employee’s past will reflect poorly on your reputation. Ordering a background check guarantees that you’ll employ individuals with no damaging pasts.

  • They help you verify information potential hires provide

The probability that your next hire will provide false information to land a job at your company is high. As an employer, ordering a background check gives you peace of mind knowing that the information your potential hire provided is valid. 

The investigation process is frowned on by many because they believe that it infringes on an individual’s privacy.

But does it really?

Yes, these background checks invade people’s privacy and expose their real characters and  nakedness to the public eye and scrutiny.

Whatever your reason for ordering a background check, you should know that it involves accessing one’s private and confidential information. If accessed, then the information no is longer personal but exposed to whoever may have access to it. These definitely invade people’s privacy which can be humiliating and frustrating in some cases.

One wrong decision in one’s past can cause him/her to commit a criminal activity which if arrested by the police goes down in their records. The individual may take responsibility and reform from their past activities and turn to a better person, but the record remains. When you request for a background check, the past records come up and mess their current opportunities and chances in bettering their lives.

This kind of invasion of privacy makes good people miss out on better opportunities.

As Oscar Wilde said, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”. If someone’s past can hinder them from pursuing a bright future then these checks can work against individuals, not for them.

When you request for a background check on anyone, you give the investigators the permission to unearth the past criminal records of your potential employees. The check can cause you to lose out on great workers with because of their past mistakes.

People with great skills who make simple mistakes that end up in their records can bring you tremendous growth and skills to your organization when you absorb them into your business. But, the information a background check may bring up might cause you to doubt their capabilities.

The checks on potential employees enable you to make sound hiring decisions.No one wants to be associated with a past criminal despite their great potential because the society tends to concentrate more on their evil past than the good they possess.

Data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) a few years ago indicate that 82% of property offenders were arrested for new crimes compared to 77% of drug offenders, 74% of public order offenders and 71 percent of violent offenders within five years after their release from prison. 

As mentioned earlier, people can add inaccurate information when applying for a job. The main reason is to have a strong and powerful application in comparison with their competitors. If you take the applications on face value without proper checks, then you might hire unfit people.

A background check like I have mentioned before helps you unearth the lies, therefore, saving you from hiring dishonest individuals.

In conclusion, background checks are essential in a world where people do not seem to be whom they claim to be from the first impression and presentation. Despite the fact that they invade people’s privacy, they help employers and federal officers in making a sound judgment.


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