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Are Background Checks and Criminal Checks Ethical?

July 11th, 2014

full-background-checkMany people search the Internet for ways to perform a background check or a criminal check on someone they know. However, for some people, the ethics of doing such a thing seems underhanded and perhaps not so befitting of good human being.

Well, in the business world, technically speaking, this sort of thing is common practice. Think about it. When somebody applies for a position with a company, even menial jobs, the applicant is required to reveal all sorts of personal information. Standard includes the applicant’s social security number, address, phone number, and a full disclosure of past employers. Beyond all of that, the applicant is also required to offer up at least three references, among other information. All of this information is then thoroughly examined before a job is offered. The bottom line is that it is highly doubtful that a wanted felon is going to be able to obtain any sort of reputable employment, not when all employers screen their applicants very well; employers run background checks and criminal checks on their applicants.

The question then becomes this: do companies feel guilty about asking for personal information and then checking up on their applicants? Absolutely not! It is smart business and it is standard procedure in the working world. Businesses run background checks and criminal checks all the time!

But that is not all. For positions that require the person to handle money, such as in the banking industry, the employer will run a credit report on the candidate. The reason? They do not want to allow somebody who has a horrible credit report to touch money; they could not and would not trust such a person. A bad credit report spells trouble.

Turning to the government employers, no matter at what level, be it city, county, state or federal, potential government employees must pass a drug test and pass a criminal check and a background check before they can be officially hired, and credit checks are not out of the question, depending on the position. Sure, the government runs background checks, too.

Private citizens, however, do not operate like businesses and government entities. In the world of everyday life people make new friends and form new relationships left and right. Trust is never in short supply and is given out freely like water from flowing down from a natural waterfall. When we hear of the recent scandal where billions were scammed from trusting investors, this is a perfect example of unconditional trust in the world of private citizens. People get burned all the time. Do yourself a favor. If you are considering performing a background check or a criminal check on someone you know, just do it. Fight that instinct and you will be taking a potentially huge risk.

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