December 23, 2006

Feds: “Oops” [9:25 am]

Feds: Homeland Security project didn’t protect privacy

A Department of Homeland Security program that linked details on millions of air travelers with profiles drawn from commercial databases was plagued by “privacy missteps” that misled the public, a new government report concludes.

The Transportation Security Agency, operating under the auspices of Homeland Security, had publicly pledged two years ago–in official notices describing the Secure Flight program–that it “will not receive” or have access to dossiers on American travelers compiled by a Beltway contractor.

That promise turned out to be untrue, according to a report published Friday by DHS’ privacy office. The commercial data “made its way directly to TSA, contrary to the express statements in the fall privacy notices about the Secure Flight program,” the report says. (Click on “Secure Flight Report” to view a PDF version.)

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