Curated Profiles vs. ‘Live’ Adverse Media Screening

A crucial component of risk management is the practice of adverse media screening, which involves scrutinising entities for negative news and potential red flags.

There are two primary methodologies for adverse media screening: utilising curated profiles from databases and conducting ‘live’ searches on open-source media. In this article, we delve into the nuances of these approaches, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages so that companies can make informed decisions that align with their risk appetite.

Advantages of curated adverse media profiles

1. Centralised and efficient information

Adverse media databases offer a centralised hub for information, making it easier to access and analyse adverse media information. Having this centralised approach streamlines operations and facilitates quick decision-making by providing a comprehensive overview of adverse media data.

2. Robust search functions

These databases often boast robust search functions that enable companies to pinpoint relevant information efficiently based on specific criteria. This tailored search capability is a time-saving asset in the adverse media screening process.

3. Quick searches

Searching through a curated database can outpace ‘live’ searches, as it rapidly determines if the subject is present in the database or not. This speed is advantageous when time is of the essence.

Disadvantages of curated adverse media profiles

1. Dependent on accuracy and updates

The effectiveness of these curated databases hinges on the accuracy of their data. Outdated or incorrect data can lead to false positives or missed red flags, diminishing their reliability.

2. Limited customisation

Relying on a database’s interpretation of ‘adverse’ may not align with your company’s unique risk appetite, potentially excluding entities that should be flagged.

3. Regulatory scrutiny

In the era of post-GDPR and stringent data protection regulations, inclusion in such databases faces heightened scrutiny. 

Advantages of ‘live’ search on open-source media

1. Real-time information

‘Live’ searches offer access to real-time information, enabling the identification of the most recent adverse media data, minimising the risk of overlooking current red flags.

2. Wider source coverage

Unlike databases, ‘live’ searches encompass a broader array of sources, including news articles, blogs, social media, and publicly accessible databases. This expansive coverage enhances the comprehensiveness of the adverse media screening process.

3. Customisation control

Companies have full control over what they consider ‘adverse,’ tailoring searches to align with their distinct risk appetite. 

Disadvantages of ‘live’ search on open-source media

1. Resource and time intensive 

Conducting ‘live’ searches can be more resource and time-consuming compared to using curated profiles. The need to sift through diverse sources can slow down the decision-making process.

2. Skill and error factors

Effective ‘live’ searches require specialised knowledge and skills, which can increase the risk of human error during the screening and analysis process.


The choice between curated profiles and ‘live’ adverse media screening each carry particular implications; curated databases offer efficiency and structured access, while ‘live’ searches provide real-time insights and customisation options. By working with an adverse media screening solution such as smartKYC, your organisation can take advantage of both approaches. Using sophisticated multilingual natural language processing techniques that understand and contextualise unstructured data such as online media, smartKYC’s searches are thorough and accurate with only pertinent and risk-relevant facts presented for human review, whilst never missing any red flags.

About smartKYC 

smartKYC’s adverse media screening software is the world’s most advanced multilingual semantic search engine to machine read all online media content for potential negative news, improving KYC processes and reducing risks.

Combining the technologies of federated search with Multilingual NLP, sophisticated name matching and unique identity matching, smartKYC is faster, better and more cost effective than any other solution on the market.

To see smartKYC in action, book your demo today

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