EFF objects to biometric border bill
22 December 2017 10:58 GMT

Privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has slammed a new bill covering biometric borders in the US.

EFF notes that Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced “the SECURE Act” (S. 2192) on December 5.

It claims that the legislation would expand "high-tech spying on U.S. citizens and immigrants alike at and near the U.S. border."

"Sen. Coryn’s bill, called the Building America’s Trust Act, raises concerns about digital rights, many of which are likely to be ongoing issues in Sen. Grassley’s SECURE Act."

The group writes that the bill would require that the Department of Homeland Security collect biometric information from all people who exit the U.S., including U.S. and foreign citizens.

“Any new statutory authority given to the government to ensure border security must be carefully balanced to ensure that it does not overreach and violate the privacy of the people it intends to protect. In EFF’s view, this bill does not achieve that balance. Instead, it expands biometric and other high-tech surveillance of U.S. citizens and foreign visitors at and near the U.S. border without regard to essential civil liberties.”

EFF worries that these same issues are at stake in Sen. Grassley’s SECURE Act. And we recently joined a group letter against the SECURE Act, for the additional reason that it will reduce public scrutiny of high-tech surveillance at the border.