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Friday, December 16, 2011

Database & Public Records Searches

by Joe Hoover

Databases


When we were growing up, adults cautioned us against doing anything wrong, anything bad, because, “it will go on your permanent record.”

Well guess what: Everything goes on your “permanent” record - from the time you were born!

Your birth was recorded at the hospital, at the county courthouse, and in your state's department of vital records.

With very few exceptions, every American is on file somewhere. Hundreds – if not thousands - of repositories throughout the country and around the world have a record “of” you - and numerous details “about” you.

There are records of the schools you attended along with your grades and degrees earned.

Your vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and the property you own are all recorded.

Finally, after your death, the Social Security Administration records your demise in its Death Index.

Fact: There are 739,000 registered sex offenders in the USA!

Q: How does one go about accessing sex offender records?

A: Nation-wide sex offender records are available – if one knows where to look.

Fact: Most people have no idea the number of databases they are part of nor of the amount of data/information out there which concerns them.

The Challenge: How to sort through the mountains of data and determine what data is relevant for your purpose. Then, how to organize it be interpreted into useful content.

Cost effective alternative: Determine which of the experts – like Information Providers - to hire to accomplish these tasks.

Q: First of all, what is data?

A: Data is a selection of facts that can be translated into a cornucopia of possibilities. Data is collected on property, businesses and credit transactions. Personal, individual data can range from magazines subscribed to, every residence a person has reported when applying for credit.

Q: Who collects data?

A: Data is collected by both the government and the business sector.

Q: Who owns data and how is it distributed and sold?

A: The original collectors of the data - including government entities and the credit bureaus - own the original data, which is often sold and resold to Data Brokers and Information Providers.

Q: How does one go about tapping data sources, and then translating and interpreting that data into useful information?

A: Value Added Information Providers interpret compiled data so that it “tells the story,” and “paints a virtual portrait” of the subject in question.

Q: For what purpose is data accessed?

A: Records searches are conducted to:

• Locate people for reuniting family members or collecting on a debt.
• Gather background information on individuals and businesses.
• Learn about births, marriages, deaths, addresses, phone numbers
• Get the facts about the person with whom one intends to establish a personal or business relationship
• Make sure the information you've been furnished is true and that the person you're hiring or renting to checks out.
• Learn about a business, its reputation, financial status, and standing in the community.
• Seek information about property and assets to enforce a court order or judgment
• Find out whether or not one is an heir to money or property.

Q: What “types” of records are out there?

A: Public, or “open” records, semi-private records, and private records.

Public/Open Records:
These are records open to public scrutiny. You have a broad right of access, without discrimination, to government information. Data are gathered and cross-referenced by a host of database brokers, combined, traded and sold to other data brokers and systems operators, and ultimately sold to end-users, like Information Providers.

Note: You do not need too prove a "need to know" or furnish a reason "why" you seek certain information. Plus, once you have that information, you are free to use it and disseminate it any way you see fit. You can even sell it.

Semi-Private Records:
Access to semi-private, or semi-open records is limited. Legal dictates, state statutes, and business policy may limit access to financial reports, credit reports, medical records, and employment information.

Closed Records:
This often classified data is maintained by the federal government. Closed records can be opened only by court order and are not subject to The Freedom of Information Act.

All involved in this "data chain" must agree to enforce the regulations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the first major Federal law enacted to protect privacy. The Act is for everyone. It’s a federal law that designates which public records are open to the public for either reviewing or obtaining documents.

The Act has really helped the general public in making information available, but it is not as important as the local statutes when it comes to state/county/local-held information.


Read the Complete Database and Public Records Article


Investigative Professionals maintain up-to-date “database broker-direct” connections to all pertinent state, county, municipal, civil and criminal records. Investigative Professionals interprets and translates DATA for their many varied clients, to VALUABLE, USEABLE, INFORMATION.

Investigative Professionals offers complete multi-database searches. Conduct a Complete Background Checks for the public and Individual Database Searches for Businesses.