In October 2021, CDIA filed a comment to the Maryland State Police in response to a proposed rule change to COMAR 29.01.02.02, a change that would prohibit access to DOBs in certain requests to the state police. CDIA’s comment makes three key points:
- Dates of birth provided by the consumer and obtained in public records as an indispensable tool to identify records that pertain to the consumer applicant and eliminate records of other persons with the same name, especially where other identifiers like Social Security number are not available to the public.
- Thousands of employers in Maryland and across the country, both private and public, use some form of a background check (which is a type of consumer report) to evaluate job applicants or to monitor existing employees for ongoing compliance with job requirements. The results of criminal record searches (often conducted nationwide) are a key component of these reports. Employers of all sizes, across a myriad of industries, are often required to conduct these background checks of potential and existing employees.
- The DOB Proposal does not identify the reason for the proposed amendment. If, however, the Maryland State Police is concerned with protecting consumers from identity fraud, CDIA respectfully requests that the Secretary consider the fact that identifying information contained in public records plays an important role in data matching, and helps improve authentication and reduce the risk of identity fraud. Further, courts and regulators, including the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, expect consumer reporting agencies to use multiple identifiers to ensure that records are accurately matched to consumers as part of a consumer reporting agency’s responsibility to use reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information that they provide on consumers.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More