Holder posits that the fingerprint-based background check can have a discriminatory impact on communities of color. He notes that the FBI records from which the fingerprint checks are drawn are often incomplete and do not always show the results of the arrest. Because people of color are statistically more likely to pick up an arrest, their communities would be disproportionately impacted, even when (as is often the case) those arrests do not result in a conviction.
I support Holder’s criticisms. In my work, people often come to me with their FBI records looking for an expungement or sealing. It is actually relatively rare for the records to comprehensively contain all the information about what happened in a case. They can be a good starting point for me to figure out what is on a person’s record, but they are mostly worthless for determining eligibility to expunge or seal because they so often don’t list the outcomes of the cases.
The ironic part of this is that Uber and Lyft already perform background checks on potential drivers. Many clients have come to me needing to expunge or seal their record specifically because they didn’t pass the background check for these companies. The difference though is that those background checks are designed for employment purposes and therefore typically obtain the disposition information.