DHS Privacy Office Releases 2016 Report, Secret Profiling on the Rise

3 02 2018

The Department of Homeland Security has released the 2016 Annual Data Mining Report. The report describes several of the agency’s profiling systems that assign secret “risk assessments” to U.S. citizens. According to the DHS report, the Analytical Framework for Intelligence is accessible to several agency components, including the Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration. Through a Freedom of information Act lawsuit, EPIC previously obtained important documents about the secretive scoring program. EPIC is now appealing EPIC v. DHS to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to compel the release of additional documents.

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FBI Warns of Privacy Risks with Internet-Connected Toys

27 01 2018

The FBI released a Public Service Announcement warning consumers about the privacy risks of internet-connected toys. “Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviors based on user interactions,” the FBI wrote in the PSA, adding that the toys “could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.” Last year, EPIC and several consumer organizations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the “My Friend Cayla” doll violates U.S. privacy law. EPIC’s complaint spurred a congressional investigation and toy stores across Europe have removed Cayla from their shelves.

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FBI Issues Final Rule on Biometric Database, Exempts Itself From Privacy Act Protections

25 01 2018

The FBI has released a final rule claiming several Privacy Act Exemptions for the Next Generation Identification System, a database that contains the biometric data of millions of Americans, much of which is unrelated to law enforcement. EPIC had criticized the FBI’s proposal to remove Privacy Act safeguards and urged the FBI to limit the scope of data collection and reduce the retention of data. However, in issuing the final rule the FBI repeatedly stated that exemptions would be used responsibly and in accordance with FBI policies and procedures. Through a FOIA lawsuit, EPIC obtained documents that revealed the NGI database contained an error rate of up to 20% on facial recognition searches. EPIC has identified several problems with the NGI database in statements to Congress oversight Committees, which have indicated strong concern about the FBI’s facial recognition program.

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The content in this post was found at https://epic.org/2017/08/fbi-issues-final-rule-on-biome.html Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of privacynnewmedia.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

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House Bill Expands Drone, Biometric, Communications Tracking at Border

21 01 2018

The House Homeland Security Committee passed H.R. 4548, the “Border Security for America Act,” which would dramatically expand surveillance capabilities along the northern and southern borders of the U.S. The bill seeks “to achieve situational awareness and operational control of the border,” with unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), radar surveillance systems, license plate readers, and biometric databases. The Border Security Act would establish a biometric exit data system at US airports, seaports, and land ports. Biometric data would be combined with other Federal databases. The Privacy Act normally limits the government’s ability to collect personal data, but this bill would exempt the Department of Homeland Security from compliance with the Privacy Act. Previous EPIC FOIA lawsuits have revealed that border surveillance by drones would capture imagery, data, and wifi data of US citizens,

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The content in this post was found at https://epic.org/2017/10/house-bill-expands-drone-biome.html Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post. and was not authored by the moderators of privacynnewmedia.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

 

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Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears

3 04 2017

Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears

3/27/2017

Olivia Solon

The Guardian

    During a House oversight committee hearing, committee chair Jason Chaffetz stated that the FBI’s facial recognition database, which contains around half of all adult Americans’ photographs (typically from driver’s licenses and passports), could easily be “used by bad actors to harass or stalk individuals” and otherwise target individuals. Worryingly, this database paired with real-time facial recognition technology could create situations in which anyone could be identified anywhere anytime they leave their home. Chaffetz then suggests that proper oversight is necessary to protect Americans.

    The FBI’s facial recognition database, known as their Next Generation Identification program, was brought about as an upgrade to prior existing fingerprint databases. And, unlike fingerprint databases, these photos are collected even before any arrests happen. Additionally, the system “does not test for false positives nor for racial bias,” rendering the FBI unable to tell the difference between incorrectly identified innocent citizens and potential criminals, and especially places people of color at risk (previous studies have concluded that facial recognition technology is markedly worse at identifying black faces, in addition to the fact that “African Americans are disproportionately subjected to police facial recognition”).

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