All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick resulted in the redaction of date of birth and driver’s license numbers to match public criminal records for employment and tenant screening purposes.
On May 26, 2021, the California Court of Appeal ruled in All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick that an individual’s date of birth (DOB) and driver’s license number cannot be used to identify criminal public records. While this case was decided by the Court of Appeals, 4th A.D. (Riverside County), many Superior courts across California applied this ruling to their own records process. This effectively barred consumer reporting agencies, data providers, and criminal background researchers from using the date of birth information and driver’s license numbers to verify consumer identities for tenant and employment screening purposes.
On February 22nd, 2022, Senator Steven Bradford of California (D-Inglewood) introduced SB 1262 in response to backlash from consumer reporting agencies, employers, and the rental housing industry. SB 1262 would have effectively nullified the rulings of All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick by reinstating both redacted PII on all public documents. This bill was ultimately vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2022.
With SB 1262 vetoed, in most courts in California, an individual’s date of birth and driver’s license number cannot be used as data identifying a criminal defendant in public records. Rule 2.503 (b) requires that the trial courts that maintain an electronic index must provide remote electronic access to “indexes in all cases” to the extent feasible to do so, and specifies what must be excluded from such indexes, including the two primary identifiers specified in the case, date of birth and driver’s license number.
California renters searching for a new home, individuals seeking employment, employers hiring prospective candidates, and third-party consumer reporting agencies when conducting background checks on applicants or employees.
On November 4, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an advisory opinion on Name-Only Matching. In this, they stated that:
“’name-only matching,’ [when identity and record matching is only done with first and last name information,] is particularly likely to lead to inaccuracies in consumer reports.” n.”
While the Bureau was not explicit about which personal identifiers should be used to maximize the report’s accuracy, their opinion made it clear that additional matching identifiers (other than first and last name) must be used by consumer reporting agencies to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act sec. 607(b).
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