DHS Releases Data Mining Report After EPIC FOIA Request
January 2, 2024
DHS publicly released the 2021 Data Mining Report after EPIC submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in June 2023 seeking the “2020 DHS Data Mining Report and all subsequent DHS data mining reports.” According to the DHS Data Mining Report page, DHS published the report in August 2023—two months after EPIC requested the document. DHS only informed EPIC of the release last week. The 2021 report also covers the year 2020 because according to DHS, “The DHS 2020 Data Mining Report to Congress was not submitted as planned.” The 2021 report is dated August 2022 suggesting DHS did not move to release the report until EPIC requested it.
The Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007 requires DHS to publish a report on its data mining activities on an annual basis. The reports are required to describe the data mining activity and technology used, the data sources, and the impact on privacy and civil liberties among other things. In the 2021 report, DHS identified a new data mining program: “Continuous Immigration Vetting for Operation Allies Welcome, utilizing ATS, conducted by CBP.” EPIC will continue to seek the data mining report for 2022, which still has not been released to the public.