The Difference Between Public and Private Data and Why It Matters in Background Checks

When you run a background check, it’s important to know the difference between public and private data.

Public data means information that is available to anyone, while private data is information that is only available to specific individuals.

Let’s look closely at the difference between public and private data and why it matters in background checks:

Difference-Between-public-and-Private-Data

What is Public Data?

Public data refers to the information that is available to anyone who wants it. This can include a person’s name, address, and date of birth.

Public data is typically collected by government agencies and made available to the public through databases or other online resources.

There are a few reasons why public data is made available to the general public. One reason is that it can be used to protect the public.

For example, public data can be used to identify people who are wanted by the police or with criminal records.

Another reason is that public data can be used to promote transparency and accountability.

For example, government agencies can use public data to show how they are spending taxpayer money or how they are performing specific tasks.

Public data is also often used in background checks. Background check providers typically rely on public databases to collect information about individuals.

This information can include addresses, phone numbers, and criminal records.

Public data can be useful in background checks because it is typically accurate and up-to-date.

However, it’s important to note that not all public data is included in background checks. For example, most background check providers do not include credit reports in their searches.

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Read: What Does Decisional Mean On A Background Check?


What is Private Data?

Private data is information that is only available to specific individuals. This can include information like a person’s Social Security number, financial records, and medical records.

Private data is typically collected by businesses and other organizations.

There are a few reasons why private data is not made available to the general public. One reason is that it can be used to exploit people.

For example, criminals can use a person’s Social Security number to open new lines of credit in their name.

Another reason is that private data can be sensitive and personal. For example, a person’s financial records or medical records can reveal sensitive information about their personal life.

Private data is not typically included in background checks. This is because background check providers do not have access to private databases.

However, some background check providers may be able to get access to private data if the individual provides their consent.


Public Data vs. Private Data In Background Checks

Whether hiring an employee or renting an apartment, background checks are an important part of the process.

When conducting a background check, it’s important to know the difference between public and private data. 

Almost all background check providers rely on public data to collect information about individuals.

This information can include addresses, phone numbers, and criminal records. While public data is typically accurate and up-to-date, it’s important to note that not all public data is included in background checks.

For example, most background check providers do not include credit reports in their searches.

Private data is not typically included in background checks. This is because background check providers do not have access to private databases.

However, some background check providers may be able to get access to private data if the individual provides their consent.

Understanding the difference between both types of data is important when conducting a background check.

This will help you understand what information is being collected and how it can be used. 

Read: What Does A Background Check Show?


Bottom Line

Now that you know the difference between public and private data, you can make sure that you’re getting the most accurate and updated information possible.

If you’re ever unsure about what information is being collected in a background check, be sure to ask the background check provider.

They should provide you with more information about what is included in the report.


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