New California Senate Bill Fights Back Unnecessary Criminal Record Restrictions

Last year, a California court case sought to redact date of birth information from court records and succeeded. The ruling added unnecessary barriers to the criminal background check process, added another burden to consumer reporting agencies and data providers, and jeopardized the objective information housing providers and employers rely on. A new Senate bill has been introduced to eliminate these obstacles.

The 411 on California’s Criminal Record Restrictions

Last year, a California court case sought to redact date of birth information from court records and succeeded. The ruling added unnecessary barriers to the criminal background check process, added another burden to consumer reporting agencies and data providers, and jeopardized the objective information housing providers and employers rely on. A new Senate bill has been introduced to eliminate these obstacles.

The 411 on California’s Criminal Record Restrictions

All record database searches rely on personally identifiable information (PII) like dates of birth (DOB) and social security numbers to accurately match the record to the consumer. Most courts across the country enable criminal record searches with these identifiers, except California and Michigan.

After All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick, DOBs and driver’s license numbers were excluded from California criminal records. Superior courts across California have deleted DOB search fields, making it significantly more difficult to verify consumer identities during the criminal background check.

All record database searches rely on personally identifiable information (PII) like dates of birth (DOB) and social security numbers to accurately match the record to the consumer. Most courts across the country enable criminal record searches with these identifiers, except California and Michigan.

After All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick, DOBs and driver’s license numbers were excluded from California criminal records. Superior courts across California have deleted DOB search fields, making it significantly more difficult to verify consumer identities during the criminal background check.

Imagine playing a game of ‘Guess Who?’ and being unable to ask if the person you’re trying to match has glasses. While it’s not impossible to accurately match the person without knowing if they have glasses, it makes it harder. And, if more rules get put into place like banning questions about facial hair or if they have a hat, it makes matching more time-consuming and less reliable.

Housing providers and employers depend on criminal records to protect the public, their assets and ensure the tenant or employee meets their criteria. Eliminating important PII from criminal public records pokes unnecessary holes in the California criminal database as a whole.  While this ruling currently only makes criminal background checks trickier (and, in some cases, a tad bit slower), it’s an alarming trend in the wrong direction. S.B. 1262 aims to fix that.

What is S.B. 1262?

Imagine playing a game of ‘Guess Who?’ and being unable to ask if the person you’re trying to match has glasses. While it’s not impossible to accurately match the person without knowing if they have glasses, it makes it harder. And, if more rules get put into place like banning questions about facial hair or if they have a hat, it makes matching more time-consuming and less reliable.

Housing providers and employers depend on criminal records to protect the public, their assets and ensure the tenant or employee meets their criteria. Eliminating important PII from criminal public records pokes unnecessary holes in the California criminal database as a whole.  While this ruling currently only makes criminal background checks trickier (and, in some cases, a tad bit slower), it’s an alarming trend in the wrong direction. S.B. 1262 aims to fix that.

What is S.B. 1262?

Introduced by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), S.B. 1262 would return court record searches to before this new ruling. It would require superior courts to allow criminal record searches with driver’s license numbers and DOBs. Ultimately, it would be as if the restrictions from All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick never existed. So criminal background screeners can go back to quickly and efficiently matching individuals to their eyeglasses – or in this case, their DOB or driver’s license number.

Introduced by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), S.B. 1262 would return court record searches to before this new ruling. It would require superior courts to allow criminal record searches with driver’s license numbers and DOBs. Ultimately, it would be as if the restrictions from All of Us or None of Us v. Hamrick never existed. So criminal background screeners can go back to quickly and efficiently matching individuals to their eyeglasses – or in this case, their DOB or driver’s license number.

As of publication, this bill is pending in the Senate Public Safety Committee and will have until April 29th, 2022 to pass. We urge you to get the word out and contact your local representative. State Senators on the Public Safety Committee reviewing this bill are:

CIC is proud to join the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), the Processional Background Screening Association (PBSA), and many other companies and associations in support of S.B. 1262 and advocate for fair, objective criminal record access.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

As of publication, this bill is pending in the Senate Public Safety Committee and will have until April 29th, 2022 to pass. We urge you to get the word out and contact your local representative. State Senators on the Public Safety Committee reviewing this bill are:

CIC is proud to join the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), the Processional Background Screening Association (PBSA), and many other companies and associations in support of S.B. 1262 and advocate for fair, objective criminal record access.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

President's Day 2022

Subscribe

Subscribe for (occasional) email updates!