FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2005
EPIC Associate Director
(202) 483-1140 ext. 111
Groups Say that Defense Department Effort
Violates Federal Privacy Act
Washington, DC — The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and more than 100 local, state, and national organizations today urged Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to end to the “Joint Advertising and Market Research Studies” Recruiting Database.
The groups cited the broad exemptions to federal privacy laws that would allow the Defense Department to dislose personal information to others without an individual’s consent or knowledge. The proposed uses include disclosures to law-enforcement; state and local tax authorities; employment queries from other agencies; and disclosure of records to foreign authorities.
The database would include name, date of birth, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address, Social Security number, ethnicity, high school, education level, college intend field of study, and current college for more than 30 million Americans who are 16-25 years old. This system of records would go so far as to record mother’s attitudes about military recruitment.
The letter to the Secretary of Defense concluded that “because of the potential for abuse and the threat to the personal privacy rights of a generation of American youth,” the Department of Defense should immediately end the program.
The organizations signing the letter included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, LeaveMyChildAlone.org, the Liberty Coalition, Rock the Vote, and the Rutherford Institute.
“We join as a broad coalition of diverse interest with only one goal: to protect the privacy rights of a generation of young people living in this nation,” said Lillie Coney, Associate Director of EPIC.
A conference call to discuss the letter will take place on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at 1:30 pm EDT. Contact Lillie Coney for call details.
Coalition Letter Opposing Defense Dept. Database
Background on DOD Recruiting Database
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