USA Today reports on public and business opposition to new data collection practices by the Department of Homeland Security.
The Department of Homeland Security will collect millions of new electronic records about private planes, imported cargo, foreign visitors and federal contractors as part of an array of controversial last-minute security policies imposed by the Bush administration.
Businesses say the policies are costly, and worry that sensitive information could be released if a database is lost or stolen. Some charge the Homeland Security Department with rushing to impose policies and ignoring business concerns. […]
The policy takes effect Jan. 15 and applies to employees working on a federal contract worth more than $100,000.
Businesses worry that the department’s online system, which some employers now use voluntarily, incorrectly lists legal citizens as ineligible to work, chamber Vice President Randel Johnson said. The chamber wanted more tests before 170,000 federal contractors were forced to use the system. But, Johnson said, “DHS simply has more faith in the system than a lot of our members.”