DHS Proposes Database to Link Biometric Data, EPIC will Oppose

April 1, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security has published a Systems of Record Notice for the "Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records." The DHS seeks to link personal data in the IDENT biometric database to unique machine-generated identifiers. IDENT contains personal data on both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. persons.The IDENT database is tied to biometric databases maintained by the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the State Department. DHS also announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to exempt the Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records database from many of the protections of the Privacy Act. EPIC is currently pursuing a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the State Department for information about the disclosure of personal biometric data to other federal agencies. Public comments on the Enterprise Biometric Administrative Records System of Record Notice or Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due April 10 and April 15 respectively. EPIC will urge the DHS to suspend the project. And if the agency goes forward, EPIC will urge the agency to comply with all of the requirements of the federal Privacy Act.

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