Atlantic Employee Screening

April 17, 2024

Balancing the Scales: The Value of Human Oversight in AI-Driven Background Screenings

Recent challenges with AI-conducted background screenings highlight the complexities and potential pitfalls of leveraging technology for such sensitive processes. Notably, companies like Instant Checkmate and TruthFinder were fined $5.8 million for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to ensure the accuracy of their reports and by marketing their services for purposes like employment and tenant screening without adhering to FCRA standards ( These companies, by buying thousands of advertising keywords to appear in searches related to background checks, positioned themselves as consumer reporting agencies but did not maintain the rigorous accuracy and user notice standards required by the FCRA (Federal Trade Commission) (Federal Trade Commission).

Moreover, TransUnion faced a significant penalty of $8 million due to its rental background check practices and its failure to manage security freezes properly ( This case underscores the detrimental impact of inaccuracies and the misuse of data on consumers, particularly in crucial areas like housing. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have taken action against these practices, emphasizing the need for compliance and the protection of consumer rights (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

Another case involves Checkr, a company that provides background checks for gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft. Checkr aimed to modernize the industry with AI for faster, more accurate checks. However, issues arose when their reports included errors, such as reporting expunged crimes or misclassifying misdemeanor charges, leading to wrongful job rejections. These incidents highlight the challenges of ensuring accuracy in automated systems and the significant consequences for individuals affected by inaccuracies (Streetlight).

The comparison between AI and human checkers in conducting background screenings uncovers a significant debate. AI offers scalability and speed unmatched by human efforts, attempting to modernize a traditionally slow process. However, the recent legal actions demonstrate that speed and scale cannot compensate for accuracy and compliance pitfalls. Human checkers, while not as fast, provide a level of scrutiny and understanding that AI currently cannot match, especially in complex cases where context and nuance are crucial.

At Atlantic Employee Screening, we follow a balanced approach that combines technology for efficiency with human oversight for accuracy and compliance. This best-practice model not only mitigates legal risks but also safeguards the interests of companies and individuals. As a result, Atlantic Employee Screening is known as a trusted industry partner.