EPIC FOIA Notes #2
March 24, 2005
CHOICEPOINT'S NO-PRIVACY DEAL WITH THE FBI
SNAPSHOT [click for full document: Part
A | Part
B | Part
Formerly secret documents obtained by EPIC from the FBI reveal
Choicepoint's proposed "Partnership for the New Millennium."
The file includes a survey Choicepoint prepared on an extraordinary
range of data sources, including e-mail registration, employment
and drug screening reports, driving
records, professional licensing, SSNs,
phone records, and calling card data. One memo
discussed the availability of information on Europeans, Latin Americans,
Asians, and Africans.
Choicepoint's sale of personal information to the FBI.
The Privacy Act of 1974 prevented federal agencies, including the
from creating secret profiles on American citizens. According to
law, agencies need a valid purpose to collect information. Government
agencies must also ensure fairness, accuracy, and openness. But
commercial data brokers, such as Choicepoint, are now selling personal
data to the government that sidesteps these requirements.
Law enforcement agencies are exploiting a loophole in federal privacy
law. The documents obtained by EPIC make clear the need to fix the
Privacy Act. When the private sector collects personal information
the government, Privacy Act safeguards should apply.