The Department of Homeland Security has released the â€œ2011 Data Mining Report to Congressâ€ (pdf). In a news release, the DHS Privacy Office said, “The Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007 requires DHS to report annually to Congress on DHS activities that meet the Actâ€™s definition of data mining. For each identified activity, the Act requires DHS to provide 1) a thorough description of the activity; 2) the technology and methodology used; 3) the sources of data used; 4) an analysis of the activityâ€™s efficacy; 5) the legal authorities supporting the activity; and 6) an analysis of the activityâ€™s impact on privacy and the protections in place to protect privacy.”
Here’s information from the executive summary:
In the 2010 DHS Data Mining Report, the DHS Privacy Office discussed three DHS programs that engage in activities that meet the Data Mining Reporting Actâ€™s definition of data mining: 1) the Automated Targeting System (ATS) Inbound (now called ATS-N), Outbound (now called ATS-AT), and Passenger (ATS-P) modules administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); 2) the Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System (DARTTS) administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and 3) the Freight Assessment System (FAS) administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
This yearâ€™s report, covering the period December 2010 through November 2011, presents the complete descriptions of ATS-N, ATS-AT, and ATS-P, and DARTTS provided in the 2010 DHS Data Mining Report, with updates on modifications, additions, or other developments that have occurred in the current reporting year. This yearâ€™s report also includes a new section on the Land module of ATS (ATS-Land), which now uses vehicle licensing information and ATS risk-based rules to assess the risk posed by vehicles and their occupants at U.S. land borders, and a brief summary of CBPâ€™s Analytical Framework for Intelligence (AFI), a strategic intelligence program currently in development.
The DHS Privacy Office has also identified three new uses of ATS by DHS Components in conjunction with CBP that are discussed below: the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot (a joint effort of CBP and TSA); the DHS Overstay Initiative Pilot (involving ICE, the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT), and CBP); and TSAâ€™s Secure Flight Programâ€™s use of ATS-P. Additional information on Secure Flight is being provided to Congress in a separate annex to this report that contains Sensitive Security Information.