EPIC Seeks Documents About Executive Order on Citizenship Status Data Collection

July 31, 2019

EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Commerce seeking documents about Executive Order 13,880, "Collecting Information About Citizenship Status in Connection With the Decennial Census." The executive order requires federal agencies across the government to transfer personal data, subject to Privacy Act safeguards, to the Department of Commerce to determine citizenship "status." Trump also ordered the Commerce Department to develop mechanisms for expanding the collection of data, including collecting data from state governments. Trump vowed that the government "will leave no stone unturned" when seeking citizenship information from every person living in the United States. EPIC recently sent a statement to Congress, warning that the executive order could undermine Privacy Act safeguards. EPIC opposed a similar effort by the Privacy Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to gather personal data from the states. The program was eventually suspended, the data deleted, and the Commission disbanded.

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