EPIC Pursues Privacy Impact Assessments for DHS Database of Journalists

EPIC has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Homeland Security seeking Privacy Impact Assessments and other records related to the solicitation for "media monitoring services." The DHS posted a solicitation to compile a database of journalists and "media influencers," including bloggers and social media influencers. The DHS is seeking to identify journalists based on their beat, publication, contact information, and articles published. Agency officials plan to search lists and analyze news coverage. By law, a federal agency is required to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment before procuring information technology that contains personally identifiable information. In a prior FOIA lawsuit, EPIC obtained Privacy Impact Assessments from the FBI that were not publicly available. And in EPIC v. Presidential Election Commission, EPIC challenged the failure of the Commission to undertake a Privacy Impact Assessment prior to the collection of state voter data. The Commission was shuttered earlier this year.


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