WASHINGTON–Senator Joe Lieberman, Ranking Member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on a report released Friday by the Inspector General of the Homeland Security Department. The report concludes that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) applied privacy protections inconsistently during the development and testing of computerized screening systems. The report focused on the agency’s role in the transfer of 12 million airline passenger records to private contractors, and on statements TSA officials made to Congress and the media as news of the transfers came to light.
“The Inspector General’s report demonstrates that TSA should have enforced better privacy practices when it directed the transfer of 12 million airline passenger records to commercial vendors,” Lieberman said. “I also question whether several of the risk assessment programs developed at TSA’s request using passenger data violated the Privacy Act; this may deserve additional investigation. Finally, TSA took months to disclose to Congress and the public its role in the transfers of passenger data, and some of its disclosures were inaccurate. TSA will need to do better – the American public must know their personal information is well protected, or they will distrust the new systems we need to keep our nation safe.”