Monday, August 18, 2008

Biometric Data Obtained by DHS Analysis Tool Exempt From Some Privacy Laws

Ben Bain writes on

People whose biographic or biometric data is being analyzed by a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data system will not automatically be granted access to their records or be able to review them for accuracy as usually permitted by federal privacy protection laws.

The Homeland Security Department has decided to exempt the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Pattern Analysis and Information Collection System (ICEPIC) -- which contains data culled from numerous DHS databases -- from several Privacy Act provisions that allow individuals to access their records. DHS, ICE’s parent organization, said in a final rule for the system published today in the Federal Register that the exemptions were necessary because of “criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements."

Although ICEPIC is exempt from normal record access procedures, individuals can request access from ICE, which will review requests on a case-by-case basis, according to DHS.

The information contained by ICEPIC can include names, dates of birth, phone numbers, addresses, nationalities, fingerprints, photographs, a person's immigration history and alien registration information, according to DHS. Agents and analysts can also use commercial databases to verify or resolve any gaps in ICEPIC data.

More here.


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