Frequently Asked Questions

Okay, give me your "elevator pitch."

eLUMINATE is the nation’s most advanced criminal conviction notification solution. It monitors your enrolled employees for new and relevant prohibited violations every day. It serves as a turnkey service to provide you with proactive alerts. These alerts are based on our discovery of new and critical judicial information in the public domain.

The new status quo.

Employers are deemed to have constructive knowledge of criminal information about their workforce that is reasonably available in the public domain. Recent (adult and unsealed) conviction information is always an open record and, therefore, in the public domain. Without awareness of this critical information, your organization risks breaching contractual obligations to its customers and/or governmental entities.

Some bells can’t be un-rung.

We live in an age of instant information. We estimate that over 80% of all recent criminal convictions in the U.S. are available to the general public via one of over a thousand individual judicial websites. So it is no surprise that most members of the public are able to locate criminal case records. Hiding in practical obscurity is no longer an option.

Everything is in the public eye in today’s connected world.

eLUMINATE operates every day to:

  • Protect your organization’s brand, employees, customers and their communities;
  • Reduce your organization’s risk exposure and liability;
  • Actively exclude irrelevant incidents from impacting employment decisions;
  • Promote your organization’s culture of integrity;
  • Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to safety; and
  • Document your organization’s legal compliance efforts.

When not knowing is simply not good enough.

eLUMINATE is a cost-effective and automated backstop to your organization’s self-reporting policy. It is designed to significantly exceed the performance of any re-screening program you may currently have in place.

Designed from the ground up as a turnkey solution.

I’m not certain we really want to know this type of information.

Can your organization afford to allow the unlawful actions of a minuscule percentage of its workforce to irreparably damage its footing in the industry? In today’s information age, it is difficult to defend the position “we didn’t know, even though we could (and others did).” 

Beware of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

DDS employs several overlapping techniques to ensure that eLuminate solves problems, rather than creating new headaches for you and your team. These include scope limitations, reporting restrictions, optional de-personalized look-back tests and statistical pilot deployments.

No surprises. We mean it.

Every incident that we find is one that we guarantee that your organization wants and needs to know. Given a large enough employee group and sufficient time, eLuminate will certainly deliver extremely meaningful alerts. To give a bit of context, we have historically averaged between 5 and 10 Activity Alerts per 1,000 monitored employees, per year.

You control the dial.

Seems like a good idea but we don't need it.

You trust your hiring process and feel that you know your employees. But no organization’s hiring process can satisfy the need for ongoing monitoring and verification. Here is a simple exercise: name the employee convicted of felony larceny in the prior month. If you are less than 100% sure the answer is “none,” then you need eLuminate. 

Security in today’s world of instant information.

There is no other mechanism (or database) that can reliably provide this timely information to your HR team. Awareness of all incidents captured by eLuminate is clearly not feasible with the millions of records produced across the country each week. Why not instead rely on the thousands of relationships we have forged at DDS with court and law enforcement personnel over the past decade.

We find the needle in the proverbial haystack.

Are you comfortable rolling the dice every day for every employee that no crucial (and embarrassing) judicial case information will surface before you find out?  How will your organization respond to the inevitable inquiry of “why didn’t we know sooner?”

Life happens. People change.

Your organizational defense should not rely on jails holding offenders, especially first-time offenders.

Offenders are often released from confinement within days, if not hours.

Surely we already do this (or something like it).

The technological capabilities to offer this common sense solution did not exist until recently. So unless your organization is currently using eLuminate, it most certainly is not protected by active near-nationwide conviction monitoring.

The first and only.

Yes. eLUMINATE begins where your pre-employment screening stops, runs daily and serves as a constant protection throughout the monitored employees’ careers with your organization.

eLUMINATE is not designed to determine what a person has done in years prior. In other words, it is NOT like one of the traditional background screening services that are offered by scores of pre-employment check/verification firms.

As such, DDS does not and cannot replace your organization’s current pre-screening processes or service providers.

eLUMINATE is a “bolt-on” HR/Security solution – not another pre-hire screening service.

An employee self-reporting policy is the fax machine of criminal monitoring:

  • Every company has one even though it has limited utility;
  • It is a low/no-cost solution that doesn’t work very well;
  • Many people don’t know how to access it;
  • Its utility has dwindled throughout the past decade;
  • It lacks reliability;
  • The resulting information often ends up in the wrong hands; and
  • Captures only a small amount of the information needed to make informed decisions.

The lack of self-reporting across all industries demonstrates the flaws inherent in relying solely on your employees’ willingness to inform management of terminable offenses.

Convicted felons (and misdemeanants) typically do not self-report.

Re-screening is often limited to so-called “national” databases that are saddled with incredible holes in their coverage. These data sets are limited to geographic areas with easy-to-obtain and cost-effective criminal records. That means that your employees are treated differently depending simply on where they happen to live.

Another major weakness: re-screening relies on arbitrary time tables. Why choose every five years if you could select once each three years? Why not choose biennial or annual, or maybe biannual, or, if it could be afforded, even monthly? Would you want to know an employee was convicted of False Pretenses today or in five years?

Periodic employee re-screening is the VCR of employment monitoring.

eLUMINATE is more timely, contains broader coverage and is devoid of many of the risks inherent in most (if not all) periodic re-screens. In addition, eLuminate does not suffer from the following issues inherent in periodic re-screening processes:

  • manual review required by your staff;
  • extended and resource-intensive internal investigation efforts often required to discover an outcome;
  • unacceptable level of false negatives;
  • stale notifications; and
  • discovery of irrelevant activity that creates FCRA exposure.

eLUMINATE functions around-the-clock to provide timely alerts.

I'm concerned how our folks will view this program.

eLUMINATE is a system that runs in the background to ensure it only delivers alerts for post-enrollment convictions that meet your organizational criteria.

Fairness built-in.

We only supply data that is 100% in the public domain.

eLUMINATE can also empower your HR team to employ candidates with less than perfect criminal records. Your HR and functional business groups can more confidently make hiring decisions when they know that our solution will be working behind the scenes upon hiring to capture new prohibited activity.

Trust, but confirm.

eLUMINATE works as a compliance tool to ensure that your staff has the ability to treat employees consistently. Why should employees who fail to self-report prohibited criminal convictions be rewarded when those that self-report the same violation are sanctioned?

Equality through consistency.

Monitoring for criminal convictions is benign, fair and appropriate. So much so, that you’ll find most employees believe their employers are already on the lookout for new criminal convictions. But for this miscommunication, there would be even less self-reporting.

In addition, many employers have already obtained “evergreen” consents for background screening that ensure eLuminate can be put in place without additional employee communication. Think of it as a means to enforce your organization’s existing employee self-reporting policy.

Consequences applied fairly and evenly by a system that operates in the background.

The FCRA contains specific requirements for pre-adverse action notifications. More info on these can be viewed on the Compliance page of this website.

In a nutshell, each employee must indicate in a specific signed writing (which can be electronic) that they are aware background screening will be performed now and in the future. Recent case law (Feb 2019) indicates that the FCRA rights notification cannot be combined with any state law notices (e.g., CA’s ICRAA). Often this consent documentation is already included in organization’s approved employee packets. Additional stand-alone examples are available through DDS.

The required notice documentation may already be in place.

What are the types of information that will be captured? ... excluded?

eLUMINATE is designed to exclude from your view all non-actionable incidents along with any other types of convictions that your organization deems irrelevant for its employee groups.

Acting on arrest data – by itself – creates incredible legal risks.

No. By design, eLuminate works to actively filter out all unverifiable and non-actionable offenses, including those that:

  • Result in an acquittal, nonremanded appeal or dismissal;
  • Pertain to a charge that falls below your organization’s approved reporting threshold – i.e. what the company wants to know;
  • Apply to an offense that is not “job-related”; and/or
  • Occurred prior to the participant’s enrollment into eLuminate.

Only what you need and want to know.

Our system CAN be set to include convictions for major traffic crimes (e.g., Driving While Impaired, Fleeing to Allude, Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle, etc.).

But eLUMINATE does not provide license suspension information or routine traffic incidents. That type of data is available to a select group of public organizations through our Envision service. And since DDS data fuels many of the services offered by industry-leading driver monitoring firms, we’d be happy to make an introduction.

Focused on only what you need to know.

Generally speaking, yes. Many important criminal convictions can be initiated even though the defendant was not placed formally under arrest. Since eLuminate does not simply rely on arrest data as a “pointer”, we are able to capture most of these incidents.

Much more than simply a “what happened to that arrest” service.

Given the unusual nature of “deferral” and “diversionary” agreements (in which the defendant acknowledges guilt in writing but works to earn a dismissal or masking of the charge through completion of court-mandated criteria) your organization has the ability to decide in most states the extent to which these outcomes are included in DDS’s reporting requirements.

When a dismissal includes an admission of guilt.

We tailor our coverage pricing tiers to meet your needs. That means we can monitor every person in every jurisdiction for which we maintain coverage. Or, more commonly (and cost-effective to your organization), can focus eLUMINATE to search the following geographies:

  • Every data sources available to DDS for each enrolled employee’s state of work and/or state of residence; AND
  • All data sources across the country where our records contain full name and at least two components of date of birth (e.g., month and year).

Coverage that meets your needs.

On average, we signal between 5 and 10 incidents per year, per 1,000 monitored employees.

A meaningful few.

No process that takes such a complex data set and distills it into a single alert is going to be perfect. Nor will a solution assembled from thousands of disparate and moving pieces ever be without error. But we pride ourselves on providing the absolute best solution in the marketplace.

Better but NOT perfect.

Tell me more about how these alerts work.

Confirmation by DDS of a criminal conviction meeting your organization’s criteria sets in motion a notification process. The tangible result is an information packet that we refer to as an “Activity Alert.”

eLUMINATE has one output: verified Activity Alerts.

The eLuminate system allows for 1 to 3 designated individuals within your organization to receive alerts for each enrolled participant. These administrative contact persons can be updated as you see fit.

Notifications reach the correct administrator(s).

Activity Alerts are transmitted as an email to persons authorized within your company to receive the notification. These approved administrators can simply click on a url to download a .pdf copy of the relevant criminal conviction. No personal information is included in the originating email alert, and all Activity Alerts are 100% comprised of information that is in the public domain.

Safe, secure and simple.

Activity Alerts are typically delivered within 30 days of the conviction being received by eLuminate from the reporting entity. The 30 days allow us to ensure the conviction is final and manually confirm no appeals are filed. 

Timely but not immediate.

We protect against alerts falling through the cracks due to administrative turnover and other factors. Follow-up notices are sent to the administrator on a periodic basis of your choosing. If the url link has still not been activated after 30 days from our initial notification, then an additional alert is transmitted to your organization’s lead point of contact (as you may designate from time to time). Typically, this is a senior member within the HR department.

Fail-safes built into notification process.

Our customers feel otherwise. eLUMINATE provides only information you have expressed a desire to know. It does not require you to remember to log into a system or to learn another software platform. It simply delivers actionable alerts as to important criminal incidents in the public domain.

Let us shoulder a small portion of your existing workload.

Our Legal Department will never agree to this.

eLUMINATE was designed solely for “employment purposes.” That means DDS accepts certain compliance risks when we provide you with “consumer reports”.

To accomplish this result, our service was built upon a foundation of FCRA and Title VII “bright line” compliance. Every feature was designed by both in-house and external attorneys to minimize employment risks for your organization.

We believe your legal team will agree that using our service creates less risk than your organization’s status quo of, at best, relying on an employee self-reporting policy and/or periodic re-screening obligations.

Designed by lawyers under the supervision of FCRA counsel.

eLUMINATE is designed to avoid the use of credit information and does not return outdated or “obsolete” records. The cost is not pushed to the employee and adverse decisions must be related directly to the criminal incident’s bearing on the employee’s job responsibilities. As such, many of the state-specific employment laws are not implicated by our service.

Learn more about how eLuminate is designed to comply with each of the following applicable legal regimes on our Compliance page.

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act;
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act;
  • Illinois 775 ILCS 5/2-103; and
  • New York Consolidated Laws, Section 752.
Compliance built-in.

Our lawyers tell us that we are prohibited from offering legal advice. However, our Compliance page has a great deal of information available and contains links to many source materials and governmental publications.

Minimizing risk by maximizing legal protections.

Your employee list is protected by industry-accepted and best practice policies, systems and processes.

  • DDS’s vetted security measures include these safeguards:
  • Social Security numbers are neither accepted, nor consumed;
  • All employee information is protected behind DDS firewalls;
  • Access to roster data is limited to DDS internal employees with a documented “need to know”; and
  • Internal server management with full disc encryption and multi-factor authentication is supported by fully geographic redundancies.

Exceeding industry requirements.

No. The personal information we need to perform the monitoring service is limited to full name, residential address and date of birth.

Minimizing risk through reduced employee data.

I bet getting started will be a hassle.

Nope.  In today’s IT-overwhelmed world, we knew that a solution difficult to implement would never gain momentum.  That’s why eLuminate was designed to work with your HR system or, if you prefer, simply accept a spreadsheet of employee names.  No daily updates or progress reports to fill your inbox; instead you only hear from us when there is an Activity Alert that you will care about.

Sometimes less is more.

Absolutely. Some organizations even choose to ask their vendors or supply chain to deploy the service first. Either way we welcome the ability to demonstrate the value of our data and even encourage you to place us head-to-head with any process you may currently be using.

Pilots are our best marketing tool because you can’t fake coverage.

Certainly. We encourage you to read our terms and conditions of service. Like the eLuminate pricing structure, we think you will find it to be straightforward, reasonable and fair. Please access it here.

Transparency from introduction to signature and beyond.

Our clients typically set our system to appraise them only of activity that will necessarily require a preset disciplinary response. Some organizations that operate in heavily regulated industries with sophisticated security functions also ask for a broader net to be cast so they can filter results internally. Such an approach may also make sense for your volunteer population.

Monitoring to meet your needs.

  1. A signed contract.
  2. An employee list.
  3. Account settings.

It‘s that easy.

We offer a variety of mechanisms to alloy your organization to securely transmit the employee list. Perhaps the simplest is a secure upload page that adapts to consume the list in whatever format you provide.

Because you simply don’t have time for another IT project.

An employee list is designed to provide us with sufficient information to monitor your employee group appropriately. These fields are comprised mainly of the name, date of birth and address of your employees along with their state of residence, the selected monitoring category and administrator contact to whom alerts should be sent. A specific list is available in our contract.

We’d be pleased to give you our preferred format upon request once we know what kind of list your HR system can easily produce.

A simple spreadsheet will suffice.

There is no need to deliver a list of new hires or a separate list of terminations. Instead, simply provide us with an updated employee list at the interval you see fit. The eLuminate system will compare the current roster to the immediately prior version and make the necessary changes automatically. Alternatively, we can work with your HR platform provider to fully automate the process.

Your current employee list facilitates our up-to-date conviction coverage.

The eLuminate service, seven years in development, has grown almost entirely by word of mouth. Our customers often originate from companies that know our reputation as a data compiler and take the time to test our solution. We’d appreciate the opportunity to introduce you to them.

For more on us, please visit our company’s website at www.datadrivensafety.com.

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