The security week that was: 12/02/11 (background checks for security dealers)

A weekly surveillance of the news shaping your profession

Privacy is another issue. The legislation glosses over any sort of privacy protection and doesn't address privacy controls that would need to be in place to ensure that such original records aren't leaked. The NCIC has been pretty tightly controlled and there are federal statutes that prohibit the leaking and sale of NCIC-owned information.

Additionally, there needs to be an expectation that this legislation will take some time. The bill that authorized security officers to be checked didn't pass the first time, and that was in the days after 9/11 when they were rapidly granting access to the NCIC for organizations that previously had never had access.

Finally, I think that there needs to be some sort of industry standard on what we do with this info. The NCIC has a lot of information, including expunged information that doesn't exist elsewhere. Is it just an issue of keeping felons from being security installers? Or does the security company get to block potential employees with certain misdemeanors? When can the employer access the info? Before first hire? Every year? Randomly? What would justify blocking employment? The Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act of 2007 (which revised the 2004 act that gave security officer firms access) specifically details things that would be red flags for employment, by mentioning offenses like "Unlawful entry of a building" and "aiding escape from prison."

If the legislation can get some traction in the Senate and address some of these undefined issues, I think it will indeed be a positive step for our industry. Considering that the bill for giving security officer firms access to this database was also from Schumer (and others), and it was eventually passed; it indicates that there is a strong possibility that the ESA-endorsed bill could become an official act.

In other news
AT&T to make industry debut, SIA announces standards initiative, more

Telecommunications giant AT&T could be ready to makes its entrance into the home security and automation market with the creation of a new "Digital Life Services" division. … The Security Industry Association is launching a new Open Supervised Device Protocol project to help create a standard protocol for interfacing identity and access control devices with security management systems and control panels. … Researchers have discovered a flaw in some Hewlett-Packard printers that could leave them vulnerable to hackers. The company admitted the flaw, but said no customers have reported an intrusion. … The adoption of network video equipment is expected to increase over the next five years in the train and tram market, according to a new report out this week by IMS Research. … The Security Dealer Association has reached a milestone with membership surpassing more than 100 companies.