[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Pages 3019-3022]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00602]



Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2012-0025]

Privacy Act of 1974; Science & Technology Directorate-001 
Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Records System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of Privacy Act system of records.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of 
Homeland Security proposes to update and reissue a current Department 
of Homeland Security system of records titled, ``Department of Homeland 
Security/Science and Technology Directorate-001 Research, Development, 
Test, and Evaluation System of Records.'' This system of records allows 
the Department of Homeland Security/Science and Technology Directorate 
to collect and maintain records collected in support of, or during the 
conduct of, Science & Technology-funded research, development, test, 
and evaluation activities. As a result of the biennial review of this 
system, routine uses have been updated. Additionally, this notice 
includes non-substantive changes to simplify the formatting and text of 
the previously published notice. This updated system will be included 
in the Department of Homeland Security's inventory of record systems.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 14, 2013. This updated 
system will be effective February 14, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2012-0025 by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-343-4010.
     Mail: Jonathan R. Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, 
Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be 
posted without change and may be read at http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions please contact: 
Christopher Lee, [email protected], the Science & Technology 
Directorate's Privacy Office, Mail Stop: 0205, Department of Homeland 
Security, 245 Murray Lane SW., Washington, DC 20528. For privacy 
issues, please contact: Jonathan R. Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy 
Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, 
DC 20528.


I. Background

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology 
Directorate (S&T) proposes to update and reissue a current DHS system 
of records titled, ``DHS/S&T-001 Research, Development, Test, and 
Evaluation System of Records.''
    An integral part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
Science & Technology Directorate's (S&T) mission is to conduct 
research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E activities) on 
topics and technologies related to improving homeland security and 
combating terrorism. Some RDT&E activities involve the collection of 
personally identifiable information. This system of records notice 
covers records collected in support of, or during the conduct of, DHS/
S&T-funded RDT&E activities, when those records are retrieved by 
personal identifier.
    As a general rule, the information collected will be used by DHS/
S&T solely for the purposes of supporting RDT&E activities (e.g., 
testing and evaluating a screening technology or obtaining feedback on 
a technology from volunteer participants). S&T will not use the 
information collected for law enforcement, intelligence, or any purpose 
other than RDT&E. This system of records notice only covers the 
collection and use of information for the purpose of RDT&E activities. 
In situations when DHS/S&T-funded RDT&E activities directly involve law 
enforcement, intelligence personnel, and/or other operational entities, 
a separate SORN is required to address any activities from which 
information collected would be used in operations, to support 
operational decisions, or any purpose other than RDT&E activities. An 
exception to the above general rule limiting the use of collected 

[[Page 3020]]

to RTD&E activities is if, during a human subject testing activity, the 
individual provides information that indicates a violation or potential 
violation of law, which includes criminal, civil, or regulatory 
violations. Only in that limited situation, the information collected 
may be referred to federal, state, tribal, local, international, or 
foreign law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority charged 
with investigating or prosecuting a violation or enforcing or 
implementing a law, rule, regulation, or order, pursuant to Routine Use 
G, below.
    The Routine Uses have been updated to include Routine Use ``H,'' 
disclosure to the news media and the public. Additionally, this notice 
includes non-substantive changes to simplify and clarify the formatting 
and text of the previously published notice. The updates do not have a 
significant impact on individual privacy. All current privacy 
protections and considerations remain intact ensuring individual 
privacy is protected during S&T RDT&E activities, including conducting 
a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and using technical safeguards and 
access controls to protect data from unauthorized use. The updates 
specify that any law enforcement, intelligence personnel, or 
operational partners collaborating with S&T may make operational 
decisions based on information collected during S&T RDT&E activities, 
if they have appropriate legal authority and an appropriate SORN is in 
    This updated system will be included in DHS' inventory of record 

II. The Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory 
framework governing the means by which federal government agencies 
collect, maintain, use and disseminate individuals' records. The 
Privacy Act applies to information that is maintained in a ``system of 
records.'' A ``system of records'' is a group of any records under the 
control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of 
an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other 
particular assigned to an individual. In the Privacy Act, an individual 
is defined to encompass U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. As 
a matter of policy, DHS extends administrative Privacy Act protections 
to all individuals where systems of records maintain information on 
U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visitors.
    Below is a description of the DHS/S&T-001 Research, Development, 
Test, and Evaluation Records System of records.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), a report on this system has 
been sent to Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget.

System of Records:
    Department of Homeland Security/S&T-001

System name:
DHS/S&T-001 Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Records

Security Classification:

System location:
    Records are maintained at the S&T Headquarters in Washington, DC, 
in S&T field offices, and at public or private institutions, including 
the National Labs, conducting research funded by S&T.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:
    Categories of individuals covered by this notice include voluntary 
participants in S&T-funded research (note: all S&T-funded research that 
involves human subjects research is conducted in accordance with 45 CFR 
part 46 and is reviewed by a certified Institutional Review Board); 
individuals whose names may appear in publicly available documents 
(e.g., newspapers and academic articles) about terrorism, terrorist 
events, violent groups, or other topics related to terrorism research; 
individuals whose personally identifiable information may be collected 
through DHS operations and maintained by other DHS components; 
individuals whose images, biometrics, physiological features, or other 
information may be intentionally (with notice to and consent by the 
individual) or incidentally captured during testing of S&T 
technologies; subject matter experts who publish articles related to 
terrorism or biomedical and life sciences research; and subject matter 
experts who voluntarily consent to be included in a database of 

Categories of records in the system:
    S&T RDT&E Records will vary according to the specific project. The 
information may include, but is not limited to, an individual's:
     Contact information;
     Level of education;
     Institutional or organizational affiliation;
     Publication record, such as article and publication 
titles, dates and sources;
     Medical history;
     Lifestyle information (e.g., caffeine or tobacco use);
     Publicly available reports of criminal history;
     Video or still images;
     Other images (e.g., infrared thermography, terahertz, 
millimeter wave);
     Audio recordings;
     Fingerprints, iris images, DNA or other biometric 
information; and
     Physiological measurements collected using sensors (e.g., 
heart rate, breathing pattern, and electrodermal activity).

Authority for maintenance of the system:
    The Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 1007-296, Sec.  
302(4) (codified at 6 U.S.C. 182(b)), authorizes the Science and 
Technology Directorate to conduct ``basic and applied research, 
development, demonstration, testing, and evaluation activities that are 
relevant to any or all elements of the Department, through both 
intramural and extramural programs.'' In exercising its responsibility 
under the Homeland Security Act, S&T is authorized to collect 
information, as appropriate, to support research and development 
related to improving the security of the homeland. When research 
includes human subjects, S&T complies with the provisions of DHS 
Management Directive 026-04, ``Protection of Human Subjects'', which 
adopts the regulations set forth in 45 CFR part 46 and establishes 
Departmental policy for the protection of human subjects in research.

    Records are collected for the purpose of furthering S&T's mission 
to push innovation and development, and the use of high technology in 
support of homeland security. The purposes of the records are to:
     Understand the motivations and behaviors of terrorists, 
individuals that engage in violent or criminal activities, terrorist 
groups, and groups that engage in violent or criminal activities.
     Understand terrorist incidents and the phenomenon of 
terrorism and identify trends and patterns in terrorist activities.
     Collect and maintain searchable records of individuals 
(such as subject matter experts on chemical weapons)

[[Page 3021]]

and/or their characteristics and professional accomplishments, 
organized according to categories useful for the purpose of 
collaboration or conduct of research, including research to determine 
the efficacy and utility of new or enhanced technologies intended for 
eventual transition to and use by S&T's customers.
     Evaluate the performance and utility to the future 
customer of an experimental homeland security or first responder 
technology or product in a laboratory or ``real-world'' setting.
     Test the accuracy of a research hypothesis. (For example, 
S&T might hypothesize that an individual's behavior changes in a 
detectable manner when he or she is being deceitful, and then design a 
research experiment to test that hypothesis.)
     Answer a research question. (For example, ``Can an 
experimental screening technology distinguish between threat objects 
and non-threat objects?'').
     Conduct testing and evaluation of an experimental 
technology at the request of or on behalf of a customer.
     Conduct research and development to solve a technical 
problem for a customer.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories 
of users and the purposes of such uses:
    In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 
552a(b) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records or 
information contained in this system may be disclosed outside DHS as a 
routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3):
    A. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), including U.S. Attorney 
Offices, or other federal agency conducting litigation or in 
proceedings before any court, adjudicative or administrative body, when 
it is relevant or necessary to the litigation and one of the following 
is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation:
    1. DHS or any component thereof;
    2. any employee of former employee of DHS in his/her official 
    3. any employee or former employee of DHS in his/her individual 
capacity where DOJ or DHS has agreed to represent the employee; or
    4. the United States or any agency thereof.
    B. To a congressional office from the record of an individual in 
response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the 
request of the individual to whom the record pertains.
    C. To the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or 
General Services Administration pursuant to records management 
inspections being conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 
    D. To an agency or organization for the purpose of performing audit 
or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information 
as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function.
    E. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when:
    1. DHS suspects or has confirmed that the security or 
confidentiality of information in the system of records has been 
    2. DHS has determined that as a result of the suspected or 
confirmed compromise, there is a risk of identity theft or fraud, harm 
to economic or property interests, or harm to the security or integrity 
of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by DHS 
or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised 
information; and
    3. The disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is 
reasonably necessary to assist in connection with DHS's efforts to 
respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, 
or remedy such harm.
    F. To contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, 
and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, 
cooperative agreement, or other assignment for DHS, when necessary to 
accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. 
Individuals provided information under this routine use are subject to 
the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations on disclosure as are 
applicable to DHS officers and employees.
    G. To an appropriate federal, state, tribal, local, international, 
or foreign law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority 
charged with investigating or prosecuting a violation or enforcing or 
implementing a law, rule, regulation, or order, where a record, either 
on its face or in conjunction with other information, indicates a 
violation or potential violation of law, which includes criminal, 
civil, or regulatory violations and such disclosure is proper and 
consistent with the official duties of the person making the 
    H. To the news media and the public, with the approval of the Chief 
Privacy Officer in consultation with counsel, when there exists a 
legitimate public interest in the disclosure of the information or when 
disclosure is necessary to preserve confidence in the integrity of DHS 
or is necessary to demonstrate the accountability of DHS' officers, 
employees, or individuals covered by the system, except to the extent 
it is determined that release of the specific information in the 
context of a particular case would constitute an unwarranted invasion 
of personal privacy.

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, 
and disposing of records in the system:
    RDT&E records maintained in hard copy are stored in a locked file 
cabinet or safe. Electronic records are stored in computer files that 
require a password for access and are protected by a firewall. Data and 
systems are encrypted as necessary, pursuant to DHS guidelines.

    In most cases, S&T RDT&E is focused on evaluating the performance 
of a given experimental technology or system. Thus, only the aggregated 
performance data (e.g., the technology has a 5% false positive rate, or 
the technology is accurate 92% of the time) is important and relevant 
to S&T. For this reason, S&T RDT&E records are not as a matter of 
course retrieved by name or other identifier assigned to the 
individual. However, S&T may need to access RDT&E records by name or 
other identifier in order to make corrections to an individual's 
record, resolve an anomaly related to a specific individual's record, 
and/or link disparate pieces of information related to an individual. 
For example, if an individual informed a researcher that he or she had 
inadvertently provided incorrect information regarding his or her 
medical history, the researcher would retrieve that individual's record 
using the research identifier in order to correct the erroneous data.

    All RDT&E records are protected by employing a multi-layer security 
approach to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive or personal data 
through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. 
Protective strategies such as implementing physical access controls at 
DHS facilities; ensuring confidentiality of communications using tools 
such as encryption, authentication of sending parties, and 
compartmentalizing databases; and employing auditing software and 
personnel screening to ensure that all personnel with access to data 

[[Page 3022]]

screened through background investigations commensurate with the level 
of access required to perform their duties.
    S&T RDT&E records are also monitored for changes to the source 
data. The program manager has the capability to maintain system back-
ups for the purpose of supporting continuity of operations and the 
discrete need to isolate and copy specific data transactions for the 
purpose of conducting privacy or security incident investigations. S&T 
RDT&E records are secured in full compliance with the requirements of 
DHS IT Security Program Handbook. This handbook establishes a 
comprehensive information security program.

Retention and disposal:
    All records will be maintained in accordance with the NARA-approved 
retention schedule. All existing S&T RDT&E records fall under General 
Records System 20, which covers the disposition of electronic files or 
records created solely to test system performance, as well as hard-copy 
printouts and related documentation for the electronic files/records. 
According to General Records System 20, records should be ``delete[d]/
destroy[ed] when the agency determines that they are no longer needed 
for administrative, legal, audit, or other operational purposes.'' 
Electronic records will be deleted from all computers, storage devices, 
and networks, and paper records will be shredded. Oftentimes, PII 
collected during the project is retained for the duration of the 
project; at the conclusion of the project, PII is destroyed. However, 
researchers may retain aggregated research data (without PII) 
indefinitely, as it may help inform future RDT&E efforts.

System manager(s) and address:
    S&T Privacy Office, Mail Stop: 0205, Department of Homeland 
Security, 245 Murray Lane, SW., Washington, DC 20528.

Notification procedure:
    Individuals seeking notification of and access to any record 
contained in this system of records, or seeking to contest its content, 
may submit a request in writing to S&T FOIA Officer, Mail Stop: 0205 
Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Lane SW., Washington, DC 
20528, specific FOIA contact information can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/foia under ``contacts.''
    When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or 
any other S&T system of records your request must conform with the 
Privacy Act regulations set forth in 6 CFR part 5. You must first 
verify your identity, meaning that you must provide your full name, 
current address and date and place of birth. You must sign your 
request, and your signature must either be notarized or submitted under 
28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty 
of perjury as a substitute for notarization. While no specific form is 
required, you may obtain forms for this purpose from Director, 
Disclosure and FOIA, http://www.dhs.gov or 1-866-431-0486. In addition 
you should provide the following:
     Explain why you believe the Department would have 
information on you;
     Identify which component(s) of the Department you believe 
may have the information about you;
     Specify when you believe the records would have been 
created; and
     Provide any other information that will help the FOIA 
staff determine which DHS component agency may have responsive records; 

    If your request is seeking records pertaining to another living 
individual, you must include a statement from that individual 
certifying his/her agreement for you to access his/her records.
    Without the above information the component(s) may not be able to 
conduct an effective search, and your request may be denied due to lack 
of specificity or lack of compliance with applicable regulations.

Record access procedures:
    See ``Notification procedure'' above.

Contesting record procedures:
    See ``Notification procedure'' above.

Record source categories:
    S&T RDT&E records include (1) Records collected directly from the 
individual; (2) publicly available documents (e.g., articles from 
newspapers and academic journals); (3) records collected from the 
individual using sensors (e.g., a heart rate monitor) or technologies 
(e.g., cameras, audio recorders, infrared thermography or other images, 
or biometric devices).

Exemptions claimed for the system:

Jonathan R. Cantor,
Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2013-00602 Filed 1-14-13; 8:45 am]