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Number of businesses using fingerprints as part of background screenings rises

Oct 24, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Background screenings are a commonplace part of the application process for job seekers. However, the policy can often be lengthy and require a lot of paperwork. Fortunately, new technologies are simplifying the procedures for identifying applicants' criminal and financial histories. One such program is biometric fingerprinting, which is quickly becoming more common. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of employers screening job applicants using biometric fingerprinting has jumped dramatically. In 2000, businesses sent 6.6 million sets of fingerprints to the FBI to be verified, whereas in 2012 that number jumped to more than 25 million. The large rise in the number of job applicants being fingerprinted can be attributed to a number of factors, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as a growing commitment to security among companies that handle healthcare, education and finance, Biometric Update reports. The Orlando Sentinel reports that in 2003, only 50 percent of companies did background checks. Now, it's surprising to find any that don't.