DHS traveler screening program violates privacy laws: GAO

[JURIST] The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) [official website] released a report [PDF text] Wednesday criticizing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website; JURIST news archive] and the Customs and Border Protection Agency's Automated Targeting System [DHS backgrounder, PDF; ACLU backgrounder], which the GAO says violates federal privacy laws by allowing personal information "to be used in multiple prescreening procedures and transferred among various CPB prescreening systems in ways that are not fully explained in CBP's privacy disclosures." The Privacy Act [text] requires the DHS and CBP to provide notice to the public concerning how it obtained personal information, and how the information is utilized by the agency.

DHS spokesperson Russ Knocke defended the program to AP, saying that the GAO's report was "woefully uninformed." DHS officials have declined to provide more details of the Automated Targeting System, citing security concerns. AP has more.

 

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