What Sources are used to Gather Visitor Information?

Background-Checks-VisitorsFor most enterprises, visitors are no longer just writing their names in a notebook when they check in. Businesses with a visitor management system can scan personal identification (a driver’s license or passport, for instance) and often use bio-metric technology to check fingerprints and retina scans to generate an instant, real-time background check. Visitor management software not only provides background checks, but can also track how many times an individual has visited the facility.

Once a visitor’s ID is scanned, background checks can be run in just a few seconds. Depending upon the level of security an organization has established for visitor management background checks, the feature automatically submits the visitor’s identification to an outsourced, third-party agency to conduct a real-time background check that incorporates county, state, national and/or federal databases for risks such as sex offenders, criminal history, terrorist watch lists, employment verification, professional license verification, motor vehicle records and more.

If the visitor meets the facility’s background check criteria and is granted access, a security badge with a time stamp, photograph, name, reason for visit and areas of the facility the visitor is authorized to access is printed and the visitor wears the badge throughout their stay in the premises. Visitor badges can be set to expire after 24 hours, meaning they cannot be reused.

In some instances, such as a first-time contractor visit, ID badges can be marked as “Needing an escort” to walk from the check-in desk to the area they are authorized to access. That being said, what sources are used for background checks at visitor management checkpoints? Usually, thousands of databases are accessed through any number of background check vendors. Since there is no single source for obtaining a person’s background records, most visitor management systems come with background check software already installed and set to meet the facility owner’s level of security desired. Some of the most commonly tapped sources include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a national criminal computer database; county, state and federal courts; the Interstate Identification Index (III) System; the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) and more.

Privacy Policies

A privacy policy explains how an organization handles any customer, client or employee information gathered in its operations. Most websites and companies utilizing visitor management background checks make their privacy policies available to visitors through either their website or on site. According to best practices, a privacy policy should disclose if data may be shared with or sold to third parties and if so, state the purpose of sharing the data.

There is no consensus as to whether or not privacy policies are legally binding as well as no consistency in enforcement.  In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) promotes enforcement of existing laws and industry self-regulation. Generally for the FTC, data breaches are not sufficient for legal action if there is no loss of money associated with the breach.

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