Being in charge of screening employees or tenants in Minnesota can be a time-consuming process. That’s why many companies use programs to automate these types of tasks. However, these programs could cause more harm than good for potential housing or job candidates.
The CFPB’s advisory warning
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to consumer-reporting businesses about their tools falsely identifying people. Many software companies attempt to help other businesses with screening software. Unfortunately, not all companies use error-free screening software. And when screening errors happen, these mistakes can unjustly rob someone from moving into a new home or getting a job.
Screening software’s problem with name matching
Many screening software-related problems involve name matching. These programs try to provide the fastest possible results by using name matches to look into the backgrounds of candidates. Due to low surname diversity, these screeners falsely match many African-American and Hispanic people with people sharing the same first and last names.
If these false matches occur, the companies behind these program could be committing consumer protection law violations. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it’s illegal for screening software companies to only use name-matching as a way to screen candidates.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this organization will continue working alongside the Federal Trade Commission to investigate illegal methods of screening candidates. The CFPB urges anyone believing they were victims of false background checks or tenant screenings to contact this organization directly.
There’s nothing wrong with business owners or landlords using screening software to make their lives easier. Even programs with low error rates regarding name-matching can still shatter the dreams of many undeserving people.