Senate wants to curb some DHS data gathering

The Senate version of the Homeland Security Department appropriations bill would put new restrictions on the department's program for screening air passengers and its use of data mining technology.

The Senate passed its version of HR 4567 by a 93-0 voice vote on Sept. 14, giving DHS $32 billion, $896 million more than the administration's budget request.

The House earlier approved a comparable spending package.

The Senate would require DHS to slash the false-positive rate for air passenger screening in the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight program. It also mandates an appeal process for travelers identified as suspicious and bars TSA from keeping a traveler off a flight unless the person's name is on a terrorist watch list.

The data-mining language requires Homeland Security to report to Congress by October of next year on the privacy impact of its federal data-mining efforts.

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