A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
The basic search technique is easy, but you'll need to know a little bit about the person you're looking for to ensure you select the right person from the often copious results.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is no sex, though the app will alert you to people who have sex offender histories.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The app allows users one free search per month. Others are paid for via in-app purchases, with the prices fluctuating extensively depending on what specials the site is offering (they range from 99 cents to $19.99).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Background Check App is a tool that lets users find out significant amounts of personal information on just about anyone. Users can find addresses, age, relatives, criminal records, and properties owned -- as well as search for the any photos, videos, blogs, and social networks that person has posted online. Searching is fairly easy, though the information isn't 100 percent reliable. Users get one free search per month, but have to pay for others. The price for a search fluctuates -- from 99-cent specials to $19.99 per check at times.
Is It Any Good?
The privacy debate that springs up around BACKGROUND CHECK APP is an extensive one -- but ultimately a useless one. While many object to how easy it now is for someone to learn what can be very private details of your life, the fact of the matter is the information has been available online for a long time. And it was inevitable that it would make its way to the mobile platform. That said, this app (from BeenVerified.com, which provides an identical service on the web) can sometimes dig deeper than you'd like it to -- listing the names of relatives (though, apparently, not underage children) as well as home addresses and criminal records, along with your entire online footprint, including photos, videos, blogs, etc. The scary part is: The information isn't always accurate, which can create a false impression that sometimes is unjustified.
There's certainly a curiosity factor that goes with this sort of app, but it's not something you want in a child's hand. The reliability questions that go with the data could lead them to gossip about a teacher or friend's parents having a criminal record, when it was, in fact, someone with a similar name. The app could, however, be a good way to show children that they can always be held accountable for their past -- and that they should think twice (or even three times) before posting something online, since someone can always see it.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.