Data brokers disciplined over consumer protections

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WASHINGTON — A company that provides background screening services wrongly identified job applicants as possible sex offenders, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC made the disclosure Wednesday when it revealed it is settling a civil case against the firm, InfoTrack Information Services of Deerfield, Ill.

In many instances, the FTC said, InfoTrack would search the National Sex Offender Registry with a first and last name, say for example ‘‘John Smith.’’ But often, there wasn’t a birth date — so in its report to the employer, InfoTrack would turn over all John Smiths in the database as ‘‘possible matches.’’

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