The Department of Homeland Security has requested public comments on a proposed records system that would permit DHS’ Federal Emergency Management Agency to collect, track and maintain social media-derived data for use in situational awareness operations.
DHS said in a Federal Register notice published April 21 the new system will work to help FEMA transmit information from social media sources to first responders in an effort to protect life and property from natural disasters, terrorism and other emergencies.
DHS set up the system in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and will integrate the tool with its list of record systems.
The new system would authorize FEMA to create profiles and follow government officials, newscasters, spokespersons and private sector officials on social media in order to gather and monitor information for use in situational awareness missions.
Public comments on the proposed system will be accepted through May 23, according to the notice.