CRB :: Are You Safe From Background Checks?

Britsin Crete received its regular newsletter from privacy web site, today. This edition reports that "Big Brother Watch"  exposed the astonishing fact that during 2011 nearly 3 million Criminal Record Background (CRB) checks were carried out on British residents and citizens  by 3,924 registered bodies.

If you are statistically minded you'll notice that represents is 1 in 17 of us Brits!

Two organizations stand out for their substantial use of CRB checking. One is a  company, Atlantic Data.  Staff there carried out more than 180,000 checks alone. And if you have connections to Essex you will not be pleased to know to they used the CRB check service 21,908 times in 2011 - the highest of any local authority in the United Kingdom. 

Are you aware that you do not have to be informed if some company or other is checking up on you? It is so easy for companies, approved to use the UK's CRB system, to check into your private life without you having any knowledge of such activity. Their findings can seriously hurt you.

For example, the report makes an observation regarding a minor teenage drunken indiscretion. Fast forward that youth's clock 10 years when  a new job would require him to work with children and pass a CRB check. That "youth" may by then be a married man having done a brilliant job of bringing up his kids yet a CRB check would still label him in the worst possible light  because of that teenage indiscretion.

"Big Brother Watch" regularly monitors the CRB checking system. This UK civil rights watchdog has previously unveiled the inaccuracies and inefficiencies of the CRB system.  

As recently as a few days ago, High Court Judge, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker came out against the current use of the CRB system.  His argument was that the 'present system' was 'disproportionate' and incompatible with the right to a private life within the European Court of Human Rights definitions.

In your interest, please make time in your busy day to visit the web sites mentioned to know more on just how intrusive organisations can be in wanting to access your private life. It is surely very worrying.

So whether you are a British ex-pat, living in Crete/Greece or have connections to the County of Essex just be aware of your continued right to privacy threatened by that well intentioned but seriously flawed CRB system in the UK.