The act of reviewing both confidential and public information to investigate a person or entity's history. Background checks are commonly performed by employers to ensure that: (1) an employee is who he or she says they are, (2) to determine that the individual does not have a damaging history (such as criminal activity) that may reflect poorly on the company, (3) to confirm information that an applicant included on their application for employment. Extensive background checks can be quite expensive mainly because of the time and effort necessary to explore every item in a person or entity's history. The federal government commonly uses background check to provide security clearances that some federal positions require.
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