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Automated Targeting System

Overview#

Automated Targeting System (ATS) is a computerized system and Government Data Store operated by United States Department of Homeland Security that, for every person who crosses United States borders, scrutinizes a large volume of data related to that person, and then automatically assigns a rating for which the expectation is that it helps gauge whether this person may be placed within a risk group of terrorists or other criminals.

Automated Targeting System similarly analyzes data related to container cargo.

These risk ratings take many details into account, such as country of origin, how travel to the United States was funded, and the visitor's driving record. Other more mundane details also factor in, such as where the person is sitting on the flight and what they ordered for their meal.

The existence of such a system was first discovered by the public in November 2006, when a mention of it appeared in the Federal Register.

Privacy Considerations#

Bruce Schneier; "There is something un-American about a government program that uses secret criteria to collect dossiers on innocent people and shares that information with various agencies, all without any oversight. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from the former Soviet Union or East Germany or China. And it doesn't make us any safer from terrorism."

Category#

Government Surveillance

More Information#

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