RealNews

House hearing: Clash over use of data mining

A coalition of privacy groups called on the U.S. Congress to halt the creation of a federal database of airline-passenger profiles until more details are available, such as who would be included and how it would be operated. Meanwhile, the White House’s chief information officer (CIO) questioned Tuesday at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing whether that data-mining program would be effective. At that hearing, a law professor and congressman disagreed over whether Congress should regulate government data-mining efforts, while most witnesses praised the use of data analysis for everything from reducing credit card abuse in government to catching terrorists. Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University and legal affairs editor of The New Republic magazine, said Tuesday that “suspicionless surveillance of large groups of people” would violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Rosen said the U.S. Department of Defense’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) research project, which focuses on surveillance through mass data mining, and the Transportation Security Administration’s proposed second version of the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS II) are examples of such “mass dataveillance.” Full Story

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