Criminal records are surfacing in screeners’ reports even after being purged from government databases. There is no national data on how often expunged records are reported by background-check companies, because expunged records by definition no longer exist. But consumer advocates say the number has grown along with the demand for such services by employers and landlords, among others. The screening companies point to their own research showing that only a tiny fraction of applicants contest the accuracy of their reports each year. Consumer advocates say the onus is on screeners to investigate discrepancies among government records and make sure their reports convey up-to-date information.
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