Justice Department Exempts "Insider Threat" Database from Privacy Act Safeguards

The Department of Justice has issued a final rule on the "Insider Threat" database, a program that allows federal agencies to gather virtually unlimited amounts of personal data on individuals based on broad and ambiguous standards. The Department of Justice exempted itself from Privacy Act safeguards that would limit the collection of personal data, and allow individuals access to their information maintained by the federal agency. In detailed comments, EPIC opposed the exemptions sought by the Justice Department. EPIC also questioned whether that information would be adequately protected. The Justice Department responded to EPIC and acknowledged increases in data breaches in both the public and private sectors but stated that the agency had proper safeguards in place to guard against "anticipated threats."


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