Why Your Permanent Record Can Really Be Permanent... Even If It's Wrong

from the seems-like-a-pain dept

For years, school kids have been warned about how any thing they do wrong may appear on their "permanent record." In the past, such a record didn't really exist. More recently, some people have realized that the internet, with the help of Google, has become something of your permanent record. However, even more problematic may be the big database companies who store up all your data and sell it to folks who do background and credit checks on you before you can get a job or buy a house in many places. It's no secret that many of these databases contain errors that are hard to correct, and, legally, you often have no real claim on the data these companies collect about you. The NY Times is now noting how this has extended to people who have had arrests or convictions that were officially supposed to be expunged from their criminal records, but which live on in these databases, often making it difficult for certain people to get jobs or buy houses -- even though, officially, they should have no criminal record. Once again, it goes back to the question of who owns the data about you, and what right do you have to have it corrected if they're wrong. As it stands now, these companies don't really have much incentive to make sure your specific data is accurate. Obviously, they want to be mostly accurate, or companies will stop using them, but there's little incentive for them to quickly make changes whenever an error pops up.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    kgraw21, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:16pm

    Just another way for the man to keep us down.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:25pm

    fuckin man

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:32pm

    I hate the man. Even though I AM the man.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:34pm

    One time, the man said "Get down!" And I had to get down. And then he held me there. And he kept holding me down. For a long time.

    That sucked.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:38pm

    One time the man would slowly count to 100...

    then pull my head out from under the water.

     

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    ehrichweiss, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:38pm

    there are ways

    Databases like Lexis-Nexis and such actually have a way for you to get information removed. You have to go to their website and find their mostly obscure page that tells what you need to do(usually involves writing a letter to them, typically this isn't email) and most will comply. However you have to know to do this in the first place AND you have to know what database that someone looked you up on to find the information.

    If no one has thought about this previously, the reason they will comply with your request is because if they say you were convicted of a crime and you weren't(or it was expunged) then they could be guilty of libel/slander for publishing such statements. Or that's how I understand it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 3:56pm

    There isn't really a permanent record in school?!?!

     

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    Hoepner, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 4:19pm

    anonymous coward goes on a bully(Mr. thompson, will blame video games) rampage after learning that there is no permement record of him for school from the internet.

     

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    Trvth Jvstice, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 5:44pm

    I thought the "permanant record" threat was just that. ...poor kids

     

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    5h4d0w5|gh7, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 7:12pm

    Oh shit, I hope they dont see that I;ve looked up porn!

     

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    jerry, Oct 19th, 2006 @ 5:05am

    It's probably high time someone sues for libel and/or slander on this basis against the db publisher. But a failed precendent would be a rather bitter pill to take.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2006 @ 8:19am

    Be aware, there are two kind of "background checks" out there -- regulated and not regulated. Background checks for pre-employment or involving credit history are highly regulated, and it is the responsibility of the agency doing the check to ensure the data is 100% correct. In fact, if someone brings a complaint, the agency is not only required to update their own records, but to correct the records of the source they got the info from. In fact, they can ONLY use data if they know its original source. These types of checks are tightly regulated by the FCRA.

    The other, "non-regulated" checks have to do with decisions made that have nothing to do with employment or credit history. The unregulated data held in these databases are typically used for marketing, junk mail, private investigations, etc. and cannot be used for employment or purchase approval purposes. While it can be intrusive and annoying, it's not likely to have life-changing impact on a person's life.

     

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    anonbcomesme, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 8:07am

    FBI fingerprints linked to wrong records for me

    Hi,

    I decided to check my criminal record just like some do with credit bureaus. I sent my fingerprints and $ to the FBI in Clarksburg, WV, and got back a rap sheet with ~48 nuisance crimes attributed to me. Of course, the perpetrator is/was 5'-6", weighed 142#, was missing his right forefinger, and lived on the East Coast of Florida. I am 6', weigh over 200, live in California, and have all my fingers.

    In 1979 he went quiet, either died or incarcerated. It took me the better part of 2 years to get the link from fingerprints to records corrected. I'm still suspicious, for there is supposed to be a company in Tennessee or Kentucky that bought the records and sells them to companies.

    Check your own record even if you're squeaky clean, especially if you have some reason to suspect a foulup.

     

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    foz, Oct 30th, 2006 @ 11:49am

    this

    i have a perment record but im not allowed to see it .its probobly a scam

     

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    gettin hassled by the Man, Nov 13th, 2006 @ 11:23am

    the man ruined my life

    i was in the middle of a misdemeanor intervention program and the man stopped me while walking down the street took the beer i had just opened. He wouldn't give me a warning even though i am not from florida and I was unaware of the "open container ordinance" and now i will never get a job with my degree and i havent even finished college yet. yes, it is sad and pointless. THE MAN NEEDS TO DIE. God help me please.

     

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    Eric, Jan 20th, 2008 @ 12:32pm

    School Records?

    Is their really such a thing as a "Permanent School Record" ? if so is their a way to obtain it?

     

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    andy, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    The man

    Thats because you is a nigger!!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    the man just threating us with a non accurate peice of junk

     

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    anynomous coward, Jan 24th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    stupid!!!!

     

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    truth, May 26th, 2009 @ 7:02am

    fuck heads

    you guys are a bunch of retarded hippies i never thought i would say this to any body but you have smoked yourself retarded the man aint holdin you down you are so get of your ASS AND DO SOME THING CONSTRUCTIV..................SINCERLY MICHAEL BARNUM OF 81 FRONT STREET RITTMAN OHIO ZIP CODE 44270

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 9:27pm

    am i sexy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:42am

    the man is a total dick i wish he would just vanish

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    i live in ohio and i have a huge ego/dick so unless you live in ohio your nobody. hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha

     

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    Sovreign McCarthy, Jun 6th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    My Life Sucks

    My fife sucks... nobody will hire me because when you google my name a picture comes up of me as something I got accused of. What it doesn't say is the person who accused me went to jail for accusation of such a horrible crime. No newspaper came out for her when they found that out...

     

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