The FBI wants to block individuals from knowing if their information is in a massive repository of biometric records, which includes fingerprints and facial scans, if the release of information would "compromise" a law enforcement investigation.
The FBI’s biometric database, known as the “Next Generation Identification System,” gathers a wide scope of information, including palm prints, fingerprints, iris scans, facial and tattoo photographs, and biographies for millions of people.
On Thursday, the Justice Department Agency plans to propose that the database be exempt from several provisions of the Privacy Act -- legislation that requires federal agencies to share information about the records they collect with the individual subject of those records, allowing them to verify and correct them if needed.
Aside from criminals, suspects, and detainees, the system includes data from people fingerprinted for jobs, licenses, military or volunteer service, background checks, security clearances, and naturalization, among other government processes.
Letting individuals view their own records, or even the accounting of those records, could compromise criminal investigations or "national security efforts," potentially revealing a “sensitive investigative technique” or information that could help a subject “avoid detection or apprehension,” the draft posting said.
Another clause requires agencies to keep the records they collect to assure individuals that any determination made about them was made fairly. Arguing for an exemption, the FBI posting claimed that it is “impossible to know in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely and complete” for “authorized law enforcement purposes.”
Once again, our federal government is risking the personal freedom of its citizens for the (supposed) sake of national security. It's become a trend in Washington, D.C., and it's time to put it to an end. An Article V Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that rescue the American people from underneath the weight of government overreach. Millions have caught the vision -- will you join them?