Even if you think you are “one in a million”, there’s about 340 of you in the United States. Of course you are unique, but we’re referring to your full name and date of birth as identifying information.
Verifying the name and date of birth that you submit to us for background checks is important. Beyond that, VICTIG takes additional steps to ensure the accuracy of information we report.
As you know, when ordering criminal records, VICTIG goes to the appropriate source(s)/court(s) to obtain the information and a unique identifier to ensure that we have the correct information. Records are accessed by the available information which is typically full name and Social Security Number. Full name and date of birth is not unique. In fact, even if you have an uncommon name and that name and your date of birth are one in one million, there are hundreds of people in the United States with that same name and date of birth. For common names, a search in one county can return multiple “matches.”
VICTIG goes to great (and uncommon) lengths to ensure we provide you with accurate information. Prior to reporting any criminal offense, we run the name through an algorithm called IdentityScore™ that evaluates the frequency of use of that name by year (First name commonality and even last name commonality evolve over time). When a name is “common”, VICTIG researches further in the files to look for additional verification. The alternative would be to report multiple “matches” and tell you to figure it out (which we don’t do of course) or, if we received multiple “matches” guess which (if any) were a true match. The other alternative would be to determine that since we couldn’t guess, we would just report nothing.
The course we take is to spend some additional time and money to determine the commonality of a name and perform additional research prior to reporting any matching information to you. On December 10, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau held a workshop in Washington DC. VICTIG was the only employment screening firm to be on the 3rd panel (VICTIG’s President, Matt Visser, represented VICTIG), and this panel addressed “accuracy considerations for background screening”. Name commonality was a topic of discussion.
VICTIG is confident that our procedures to provide you with accurate and complete information are industry leading.