Archive for October, 2011

Malaysian Immigration Department Removes Certificate of Good Conduct Requirement, Oh My!!

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Malaysian Immigration Department Removes Certificate of Good Conduct Requirement, Oh My!!

At a time when many countries throughout the Asia Pacific Region are combatting terrorism, illegal immigration, human trafficking, forged identity documents, and Certificates of Good Conduct (criminal record checks) it appears Malaysia may be making it easier for criminals to beat the system.

A recent report from a third-party immigration assistance firm related that the Malaysian Immigration Department recently announced that it will eliminate the requirement for foreign nationals to undergo a Certificate of Good Conduct Certificate process through the  Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office when applying for a Residence Pass.

This at a time when Malaysia was upgraded to Tier 2 from Tier 3 in the United Stated Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2010.

According to the TIP Report the following is a description of the Tier Placements:


Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.


Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.


Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND:

a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or
c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.


Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.


FTC Takes Action for False Claims of Safe Harbor Status

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Special Caution:
In preparing the following post we did some cursory research on screening companies listed on the U.S. Department of Commerce Safe Harbor List and found at least 15 companies “Not Current” on their certification status. If such companies still provide international service we would highly recommend updating the company’s certification with the Dept. of Commerce as soon as possible.

The Story

Late September it was reported that an online retailer was recently ordered from making misrepresentations that it is in voluntary compliance with the U.S. Safe Harbor Framework. The EU Data Protection Directives require EU member countries to implement legislation that prohibits the transfer of personal data outside the EU except to countries that the EU had found to have adequate laws requiring security and are equivalent to the EU’s privacy provisions. Defendants represented that they self-certified to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce that they complied with the Safe Harbor when, in  fact, the defendants never self-certified. The FTC’s consent judgment indicated that the representation was false and misleading and constituted a deceptive act or practice in violation of Section
5 of the FTC Act.

Recommendation to Screening Companies: Be sure if your organization claims to be Safe Harbor self-certified than be certain that the organization has in fact filed the proper self-certification registration with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, ensure the organization stays up to date with its annual re-certification requirements. Re-certificate is not automatic.

Categories: Data Protection Act, News

Canada Proposes PIPEDA Amendments – How will this impact employee screening?

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

On September 29, 2011, the Canadian Parliament reintroduced amendments to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) as Bill C-12, Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act.

The proposed changes serve to modernize the requirements for handling personal information, taking into account changes in technology as well as the limitations of the current legislation in the face of certain business realities.

Proposed Amendments
Bill C-12 proposes numerous amendments to PIPEDA. Of particular significance are
the following:

  • disclosure of personal information without consent in the context of business transactions;
  • exclusion of “business contact information” from the obligations in PIPEDA in certain circumstances; and
  • mandatory notification to the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of material breaches of PIPEDA.

Conclusion: the good news from our assessment for those companies operating within the guidelines of the US Safe Harbor as well as EU Data Protection Directives the new amendment should it pass will have little effect.

Recommendation: Ensure hiring staff in fact obtain copies of written consent from candidates to collect and subsequent permission prior to collecting and conducting any background checks on personnel.

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