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DHS OIG: CBP Should Update Privacy Policies and Require Specific Privacy Training for Employees

DHSsealThe Department of Homeland Security‘s office of the inspector general has suggested that the Customs and Border Protection revise its privacy policies and require more specific privacy training for Office of Professional Responsibility employees to help address law enforcement priorities.

According to a DHS OIG report published in August CBP OPR employees have shared information with other federal agencies which violated the Privacy Act of 1974 as well as DHS policies and did not appropriately document disclosure of the sensitive personally identifiable information (PII).

The report noted two DHS investigations on individuals who trained people on counter-measure techniques for passing polygraph exams and discovered that CBP OPR shared PII with almost 5,000 individuals from other agencies.

DHS OIG added it believes the manner in which PII information was shared showed a lack of regard for individuals’ privacy and attributes the incidents to CBP OPR’s mentality to prioritize the accomplishment of its law enforcement mission over the responsibility to protect individuals.

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