The Dangers of Automated Screening

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At Insight Reporting, we have a firm belief that human beings will always be needed in the screening process. While automation has made screening easier and cheaper in many ways, human screeners will always be essential for complete and accurate reporting. A recent article by the New York Times highlights many of the dangers of “instant” screening.

Computers tend to be very linear in their thinking. No matter how clever a computer algorithm is, it will never be able to adapt and interpret certain, complex information. This is especially true of common name criminal and sex offender records. It is even more true of Civil Records and Eviction Filings. Don’t get us wrong, we love our computers. They have improved our processing exponentially over the past several decades and allow us to offer things like online applications and electronic reports. Some of us have been in this business long enough to remember when we wrote out everything by hand and faxed the completed, hand-written report back to the client. We are glad those days are gone.

Public Record searches have been greatly improved with the use of computer systems to weed out the noise, but it still takes a human being to analyze and interpret that data effectively. We hold this to be one of the fundamental principles of our business: People are the key.

While an instant report holds some value in delivering results in a few seconds, what value is there in it if it is wrong?

Insight Reporting refuses to rely on databases for public record reporting. We do use them, but in a limited capacity to provide a snap-shot of potential information. We will always follow-up with real-time records to confirm the information we receive from any database. That is our promise to our clients: to give you the most accurate and complete information available so you can make informed decisions about your future residents.

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