DHS to sweep up more data on employees, contractors

New data elements include financial history and mother's maiden name

The Homeland Security Department is updating and expanding its record collection to include new categories of personal information on all employees, contractors and volunteers who regularly need access to DHS facilities. The new categories of information include maiden name, mother's maiden name, clearance level, identifying physical information, financial history, duty date and weapons-bearer designation, states a Federal Register notice on June 25.

Other information to be collected includes date of birth, Social Security Number, organizational and employee affiliations, fingerprints, digital color photograph, digital signature and telephone phone numbers.

The Personal Identity Verification Management System is being updated to support implementation of the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 that covers physical and logical access to federal facilities. Public comment will be taken until July 27.

The system covers all DHS employees, contractors and their employees, consultants and volunteers who require long-term access to DHS facilities and computer systems, the department said. The system also has been expanded to cover federal emergency responders, foreign nationals on assignment and other federal employees detailed to DHS.

Personal information that is provided to DHS may be shared in DHS, as well as with appropriate federal, state, local and tribal agencies on a need-to-know basis, the notice states.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader comments

Mon, Jul 27, 2009 Pete

90% of these intitiatives are about buying the technology behind it that supports it, not that we need what the technology does. On the one hand we have what I would call the "sharper image" buyers in the government who grew up wanting to buy things because it looks fancy, has lots of flashing lights, and makes for interesting talk at cocktail parties. Worse yet are the cases of graft and corruption, where political contributions by makers of technological nonsense are trolling for those they can bribe to spend taxpayer dollars. Technology has reached the point where we can do just about anything, and when you marry that with the government, who often likes to do things just because they can, well, now we live in a world where there just isn't that much that the government is not going to do.

Mon, Jul 6, 2009 oracle2world

Just microchip employees and contractors like pets and call it a day. "HomeAgain" is one source.

As far as database security, there is software so buggy it is barely usable by the Agency that purchased it. So don't worry about Al Qaida figuring anything out.

Mon, Jul 6, 2009

What level of security will they have on this identity data base? Seems like our antoagonists penetrate even secure systems, so if a soldier puts in his info, his attacker can find out everything about him! Not a good thing.

Mon, Jul 6, 2009 Washington DC

Weapon Bearers ... they have federal agents.

Arty, understands!

People need to stop going NUTS over this privacy crap. First of all an employer regardless of WHO the employer is has the right to know who they are hiring. If you don't work in this "world" you have abosolutely no clue - so I would suggest you stop complaining. Geez if the govt doesn't have the info and fails to protect you, then you will complain about that too!

Sun, Jul 5, 2009

That sounds like a great idea! Why not require Facebook, Myspace, and Match.com details while they are at it. Maybe some SMS logs or GPS locations recorded by our cell phones. Or do they already have taps on those databases? I really wonder how far the American people will let DHS and other such gov organizations go when it comes to surrendering their freedoms. There needs to be a balance. With security, freedom is lost. With freedom, security is lost. I think it's time we establish a balance, and stop allowing 9/11 to be used as leverage for giving the gov, unconstitutional power. Don't get me wrong, they need to do background checks on all Gov related employees. However it needs to be relative to the employee's position. If your cutting tickets on a helpdesk, you probably dont need the same background investagation as a special agent, or say, the President. How much about my family and freinds do they need to know before writing me off as a "friendly employee"? I guess my only other concern is if there is a lagit reason for having this info. What is their privacy policy on it? I'd hate to become the latest 20/20 special report becuase somebody leaked my personal info, or that of my friends and family.

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