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June 5 2015

California District Court Holds that LinkedIn's "Reference Searches" Function Not a Consumer Report Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

"A judge recently handed down an important decision regarding the application of the FCRA to one of LinkedIn's search products. The decision comes amidst a fluid legal landscape for employers and consumer reporting agencies trying to remain in compliance with the FCRA and provides another example of a court grappling with how to reconcile new technologies with existing statutes.

The central dispute was whether "Reference Searches" fit within the FCRA's definition of "consumer report." If so, LinkedIn may have been on the hook for failing to comply with the FCRA's disclosure, authorization and other requirements. But the judge sided with LinkedIn, concluding that reference searches are not consumer reports under the FCRA."