DHS tests E-Verify app

DHS tests E-Verify app

To better accommodate businesses that are increasingly relying on mobile workflows, the Department of Homeland Security said it will test an iOS-based version of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program.

The mobile app, described in a Jan. 15 DHS privacy impact statement, would allow employers to check the citizenship status of employees using their mobile phones and tablets, according to the document.

Once users download the app and complete the required tutorial, they can login using their existing E-Verify credentials and begin creating and managing E-Verify cases -- following the same case management processes they would with the browser-based version of E-Verify.

The app allows employers to create and process verification using information from an employee's Form I-9. The device's camera will capture images of the employers' Employee Authorization Card, automatically recording the information. The app captures personally identifiable information like Social Security number and date of birth, along with name, date of hire, citizenship status and the numbers of pertinent visa, the numbers assigned by CIS documents. However, the app is designed to pass along information, but not store anything permanently on the device.

Information will be transmitted via using Hyper Text Transfer Protocols with Secure Socket Layers (https), and users must remain connected to the Internet while using the app. It will not store information if the connection is lost.

E-Verify is a voluntary, Internet-based system that allows employers to confirm employment eligibility of new hires by matching information provided by employees on employment verification forms against existing information in the DHS Verification Information System.

DHS had originally "mobile optimized" E-Verify in 2012, but that version worked poorly because the content did not scale to the screen sizes of mobile devices. The new app will accommodate tablets and smartphones, and goes a long way in fulfilling a 2014 congressional mandate to CIS modify the system for mobile devices, the document said.

During the trial period, DHS said users who volunteer to test the app will be able to download it for free from the Apple App Store, then log in using their existing E-Verify credentials. Testers can self-report actual performance time through the Apple TestFlight feedback tool.

There's no word yet on an Android version.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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