[JURIST] The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] is retaining more detailed information on US-bound travelers than previously acknowledged in its Automated Targeting System (ATS) [CBP backgrounder; ACLU backgrounder], the Washington Post reported Saturday. Privacy activists say that the ATS, designed to help authorities access the security risk posed by all individuals entering the United States, has recorded highly detailed information, including the reading material carried by one of the activists during personal travel. The activists allege that the information retained by the ATS violates the federal Privacy Act [text], and also retained information including contact information of relatives and whom travelers traveled with.
In May, the US Government Accountability Office released a report [PDF text; JURIST report] criticizing the ATS, saying it violated federal privacy laws by allowing personal information "to be used in multiple prescreening procedures and transferred among various Customers and Border Protection Agency prescreening systems in ways that not fully explained in CBP's privacy disclosures." In September, the DHS announced it will reduce the duration [JURIST report] that travelers' risk assessments will be retained on file from the original 40 years to 15 years. The Washington Post has more.