In a recently filed lawsuit, the Washington, D.C.-based privacy watchdog Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) slammed Trump’s voter fraud panel’s request from 50 states to hand over large chunks of their voter records as “without precedent and crazy.”
The suit concerns a couple of “egregious security blunders,” in the group’s own words – asking the states to send the sensitive information to an unsecured government website and the plan to make public the last four digits of Social Security numbers which could encourage financial fraud and identity theft.
EPIC seeks a temporary injunction against Trump’s panel’s data collection operations in a lawsuit it filed with a D.C. District Court. According to the court’s documents, the watchdog considers the request for the partial disclosure of SSNs “both without precedent and crazy.”
The complaint also states that the panel’s request is at odds with the 2002 E-Government Act which requires from the federal government to conduct and publish a privacy impact assessment before it starts collecting personal data on American citizens. According to the lawsuit, there was no such assessment at the time of the request.
The Request Could Cause Irreparable Harm
The group thinks that the broad request paired with no assessment could irreparably harm EPIC’s members since once a piece of info is leaked there is no way of keeping it contained. As with a data breach, the damage cannot be undone.
Forty-four U.S. states refused to fully comply with the voter fraud commission’s request in recent days, with many of them citing federal and state laws. The panel wants names, addresses, partial SSNs, and party affiliation. Also, it wants voters’ foreign citizen status, military status, and possible felony status.
The commission is led by VP Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Both senior officials were named in the lawsuit.
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