Homeland watch: In brief

Privacy office scolds Secure Flight

The Homeland Security Department's privacy office did not fully protect privacy in the development of Secure Flight, the program for vetting airline passengers against terrorist watch lists, according to the office's just-released annual report to Congress.

"Program personnel did not fully understand the privacy implications of its testing design," the report said.

The Transportation Security Administration also made changes to Secure Flight without updating privacy notices, and collected information on people without posting the appropriate notice, the report said. For the last 10 months, the privacy office has been working with TSA to rectify the concerns, the report said.

Bio-Key wins Minex cert

Bio-Key International Inc. of Wall, N.J., announced that its patented fingerprint-matching algorithm has received Minutiae Interoperability Exchange Certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NIST is certifying vendors who comply with the Federal Information Processing Standard 201 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12.

Other companies that have won certification include Bioscrypt Inc., Cogent Systems Inc., Cross Match Technologies Inc., Dermalog Identification Systems GmbH, Identix Inc., Innovatrics SAS, NEC Corp., Neurotechnologija, Precise Biometrics Inc., Sagem Morpho Inc., SecuGen Corp., Startek Engineering Inc. and XTec Inc.

Plea for port security money

Four leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wrote President Bush seeking $400 million for port security in the fiscal 2008 budget. Signers of the letter were Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Norm Coleman, R-Minn.; Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.; and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

The funds are authorized by port security legislation, the senators wrote. The grants would be awarded according to risk and through a competitive process and will be used to address identified vulnerabilities, conduct exercises and training, and establish ways to share terrorist threat information with federal, state, and local agencies, they wrote.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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