FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Against Marketers of Criminal Background Screening Reports

For Your Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Filiquarian Publishing LLC, Choice Level LLC, and their CEO, Joshua Linsk operated as a consumer reporting agency without taking consumer protection measures required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

The FTC’s administrative complaint alleged that the respondents failed to ensure that the information they sold was accurate and would be used only for legally permissible purposes, and failed to tell users of the respondents’ criminal record reports about their FCRA obligations, including a requirement to notify consumers if an adverse action was taken against them based on a report.  The proposed order was accepted for public comment on January 16, 2013.  The Commission received one timely-filed consumer comment.

The settlement prohibits the respondents from furnishing a consumer report to anyone they do not have reason to believe has a “permissible purpose” to use the report.  It also requires them to take reasonable steps to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information conveyed in its reports, and to provide users of its reports with information about their FCRA obligations.  Violations of the consent order may be subject to civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation.

The Commission vote approving the final order and letter to the commenter was 4-0.  (FTC File No. 1123195; the staff contact is Jessica Lyon, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2344.)

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