Public records law states that any government created or collected information that does not pose an immediate risk or potential privacy breach needs to be made available to the public. The goal is to provide a sense of openness in the culture - both in terms of how much the country can trust its government and how important it is to continue to be a moral and outstanding human being. Numerous pieces of information pass through government offices. Data such as:

  • Marital and death certificates.
  • Property ownership and home addresses.
  • Criminal history reports and backgrounds.
  • Licenses that are provided by the state.
  • Public worker information and data.

It's extremely important that the government collects that information to ensure that it is best able to make decisions for the people in Philadelphia. Yet it is also important for government transparency that unless they can provide valid reason to not make the data public (such as in the case of social security numbers that can be used for identity theft), they need to make all every piece of data they collect public, in the interest of public - not just government - openness.

Philadelphia Public Records

It is for that reason that Philadelphia public records have become so useful, particularly with regard to background checks. This information is all available, and contains things like:

  • Criminal Record Report
  • Current Addresses
  • Family Data

You can find out ages, marital histories, work histories and more, depending on what is available. All of these pieces of information can be found within these public records, because all of it is considered to be in the interests of the public.

How to Access These Records - And Advancements

Public records law is written in favor of the asker. In other words, it's much easier to receive information when you request it than it is to block information from being accessed. In a theoretical sense, this was extremely valuable for those searching for information. The law included provisions such as:

  • No one can block access to public records without written authority.
  • There are no restrictions on what you are doing with the records.
  • You do not need to ask permission to get the records, or explain their use.
  • You must receive the records you request in a timely manner.

The only way that public records can be valuable to the city is if it is easy for you to access them. If the government was allowed to stop you from accessing them if they wanted to, then they wouldn't be truly public, and there would not be freedom of information. The law itself was written so that you can get whatever public records data you need.

Yet in a more practical sense, it was still not enough. There was an inherent difficulty in accessing the records, even though the process was meant to be “easy.” You would have to go all the way down to the records office, fill out forms for the information you were requesting, wait sometimes several days for the papers to arrive, sift through the papers and find out if you were looking at the right information - by the time you were done, an entire week may have passed, possibly longer. While the information was all there to access, those that were simply wanting to look up something quickly were left in the dark.

Philadelphia Background Checks

Some companies figured out a way to prevent this struggle - a service they could offer that would help Philadelphia background checks be instant, to provide you with the reports you need as soon as you need them. They did so by requesting all of the data on the people of Philadelphia at once. Recall that there are no laws against what the information may be used for, or the amount of data that someone can request. So once these companies receive all of that information, they then compiled it and turned it into easily searchable reports.

That allowed Philadelphia public records to truly become a convenient tool for the public. With a simple search, you could get essentially instant access to information on the people that interested you. In addition, it allowed casual individual that were simply curious about someone to perform a Philadelphia background check and get the background info they needed. In the past, it would have been too much of a hassle.

Philadelphia Criminal Records

One of the best examples of how this instant access is so valuable is with Philadelphia criminal records. Businesses and individuals could use greater levels of access to these criminal records in order to successfully find out information they needed about those they associate with. For example:

  • Businesses that are not interested in running a complete report can do a quick criminal background check of a Philadelphia native to find if there are any red flags that show up under their account. Criminal histories are an important aspect of a person's character, so the ability to perform these background checks is quite useful.
  • Individuals can search for anyone they know that plays a role in their life. You could search the Philadelphia criminal record of a friend or new relationship, either out of simple curiosity or out of the belief that the person may be hiding something. Similarly, if you have contract work out that is going to bring an individual into your home, you can perform a criminal search to make sure they are safe to let in.

The above list represents just a small sample of how these Philadelphia criminal records may be valuable to you or your company.

Still, perhaps their greatest value is that you can perform all of these searches completely anonymously. You neither have to ask the permission of the person you're searching for, nor do you have to notify them that you performed that search. That ensures that if you want to find out information on someone that is either in your business or in your life, these Philadelphia background checks are a quick and easy way to do so, without any obvious negative consequences.