European Privacy Group Gives U.S. and EU a Deadline for New Safe Harbor Agreement

Safe Harbor logo  The European Court of Justice invalidated the Safe Harbor agreement that let American companies store the personal data of European citizens outside the EU. The agreement, as it stood, was binding on the activities of companies but imposed no restraints on the behavior of U.S. law enforcers or intelligence agencies.

 

The Article 29 Working Party (WP) watchdog group has since given the U.S. and the European Commission until January 2016 to negotiate a new agreement that will protect the personal data of European citizens, in a way which is compatible with EU law. The two sides have been notified that if they cannot come up with an agreement by then, the EU data protection authorities will take “necessary and appropriate actions” against U.S. companies that store personal data outside of European jurisdiction.

 

The ruling was triggered by a case brought by Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems following his unsuccessful attempt to get European privacy regulators to stop Facebook from moving its users’ data to the U.S.  Schrems argued that the data would be subject to mass surveillance under the National Security Agency’s PRISM program as revealed by Edward Snowden.  In the wake of Snowden’s revelations, the Commission had already begun negotiating with the U.S. to provide sufficient protection, which could form the basis of a new agreement.

 

According to the WP, U.S. companies still relying on the old Safe Harbor agreement are not acting lawfully and should consider alternative steps available regarding their data transfer options.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW? CARCO’S CheckThatVIN Keeps The Car Buying Public Out of Harm’s Way!

Inspection Div FB ImageThe recent devastating floods in South Carolina and severe weather patterns in other states have affected many people in different ways.  These types of disasters bring out the best and worst in people, with the worst being taking advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

 

The car buying public needs to be aware that vehicles that have been impacted by flood or saltwater damage may be on the market and the damage may not be noticeable to consumers.  These damaged vehicles are often sold at very discounted or “too good to be true” prices.

 

You have recourse – CARCO is here to help!  CARCO’s CheckThatVin.com is the accurate, one-stop site for trusted, used car VIN searches and used car title history information. Running a CheckThatVIN.com report may deter fraudsters from selling you a damaged car, as reported “Flood Damage” and “Saltwater Damage” titling events are recorded with each VIN title history.

 

Be smart! Be safe! Run a CheckThatVin.com report BEFORE you purchase a vehicle.

 

For more information on CARCO’s insurance/inspection products, visit http://www.carcogroup.com/vehicle_inspections.php.

 

Amazon Sued AGAIN for FCRA Violations

amazon-com-logo  Similar to the circumstances surrounding a class action lawsuit filed against it in April 2015, an applicant was denied a job at Amazon.com based on an inaccurate negative background report and was not warned or allowed to correct the record before being denied for employment.

 

In May of 2015, Theo Feldstein interviewed and was offered a position as a fulfillment associate for Amazon but the company withdrew its offer based on a background check conducted by a third-party company which listed erroneous criminal convictions.  Mr. Feldstein claims he was never given a copy of the report or allowed to dispute the report, thus violating the FCRA’s mandatory pre-adverse action notification requirement.

 

Mr. Feldstein only became aware of the erroneous report when he logged into Amazon’s online application portal.  Amazon finally emailed him several weeks later that his background report was negative, but did not include the report or a statement of his FCRA rights.

 

According to the complaint, “Under the FCRA, any ‘person’ using a consumer report, such as Amazon, who intends to take an ‘adverse action’ on a job applicant ‘based in whole or in part’ on information obtained from the consumer report must provide notice of that fact to the consumer applicant and must include with the notice a copy of the consumer report and a notice of the consumer’s dispute rights under the FCRA, before taking the adverse action.”

 

Mr. Feldstein disputed the report directly with the third party consumer reporting agency that conducted the background check and at the end of July received a notice that the report had been corrected.  By that time, he was told by Amazon that his application had expired. Therefore, Feldstein claims, Amazon never re-evaluated its decision to deny him employment because of his background report.

 

Is your hiring process FCRA compliant? Contact CARCO Group to ensure that it is!

Theo Feldstein v. Amazon.com LLC et al, 3:15-cv-07322

Class Action Lawsuit Against Kohl’s Department Stores DISMISSED

Kohl's As reported back in our June blog, Kohl’s Department Stores was named in a class action law suit for alleged FCRA violations.  However, a California federal judge recently dismissed this suit finding that the two former employees who filed the suit failed to demonstrate any willful violations of the FCRA.

 

Plaintiffs Kayonie Coleman and Diane Pemberton claimed that Kohl’s violated the FCRA’s “clear and conspicuous” and standalone requirement by combining an application that allowed the company to background screen for criminal violations with a consent and disclosure form allowing a search of the applicants’ credit histories.  However, the judge disagreed and stated, “The court is not aware of any authority supporting this contention that merely presenting these documents together violates the FCRA.

 

In essence, the court ruled that the contention that merely presenting the two documents together does not violate the FCRA.

 

Coleman v. Kohl’s Department Stores Inc., 3:15-cv-02588

The Importance of Pre-Insurance Vehicle Photo Inspections

Inspection Div FB Image

DID YOU KNOW that CARCO has been performing pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections since 1977, becoming the industry expert with over 50 million inspections completed?

 

The cost of fraud is prohibitive to both insurance companies and the general car buying public.  Pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections offer many benefits to assist insurance companies in fighting fraud.  The process helps to ensure that the condition of the vehicle being insured is verified prior to coverage starting and the vehicle is fairly and properly valued. If the vehicle has pre-existing damage, that is noted and the premium can be adjusted accordingly. That way, the insurance company will not be overpaying on a claim, saving all insureds in the form of lower rates.

 

In essence, pre-insurance inspections help in reducing losses by making sure that the correct value is placed on the vehicle and claims for pre-existing damage are minimized.

 

A further benefit of pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections is the NMVTIS title history report that accompanies each inspection which reveals important title history events about the vehicle to the insurer, further enabling the vehicle to be properly insured.

 

Click here to find out more on how CARCO’s pre-insurance vehicle photo inspection services can help your company prevent fraud, reduce risk and decrease costs to insureds!