Readers blast DHS effort to harvest personal information
Washington Technology received a number of trenchant comments about the July 1 Web story, “DHS requires more personal information from employees, contractors,” by staff writer Alice Lipowicz.
The majority of those commenting took Homeland Security Department officials to task for launching an initiative to expand the personal information it retains on employees, contractors and volunteers who regularly need access to DHS facilities.
Paul John Russo called the effort “onerous” and wrote: “The data should only have to be collected during the course of background investigations by either DHS or supporting organizations to support hiring or security clearance investigations by DHS or supporting organizations but should not be required simply to get an ID card that has a fixed expiration date.”
Arthur Downs took a grim view of events, asking “Does this reflect an agenda promoted by Janet Napolitano or some unnamed ‘commissar’ serving in subordinate capacity.”
Russo and others were deeply concerned about the privacy aspect in light of a number of data breaches by government agencies. An anonymous commenter, citing the growing number of data breaches from government mismanagement as opposed to cyberattacks, asked: “How many employees and contractors have confidence that all this personal information will be handled correctly and used correctly?”
In the minority, Frank Landry felt that it was appropriate for the department to ask employees and contractor personnel for additional information. “It’s about time some one stood up and said, 'If you want to work in this business, then you have to give up more information about yourself.'”
Posted by William Welsh on Jul 02, 2009 at 7:03 PM