Department of Homeland Security, Privacy Impact Assessment for the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative Update (Jan. 6, 2011) (full-text).


The Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative is intended to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components involved in fulfilling OPS statutory responsibility under Section 515 of the Homeland Security Act (6 U.S.C. §321d(b)(1) to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the federal government, and for those state, local, and tribal governments, as appropriate.

The NOC and participating components may also share this de-identified information with international partners and the private sector where necessary and appropriate for coordination. While this Initiative is not designed to actively collect Personally Identifiable Information (PII), OPS is conducting this update to the Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) because this initiative may now collect and disseminate PII for certain narrowly tailored categories. For example, in the event of an in extremis situation involving potential life and death, OPS will share certain PII with the responding authority in order for them to take the necessary actions to save a life, such as name and location of a person calling for help buried under rubble, or hiding in a hotel room when the hotel is under attack by terrorists. In the event PII comes into the Department's possession under circumstances other than those itemized herein, the NOC will redact all PII prior to further dissemination of any collected information.

After conducting the Second Privacy Compliance Review, it was determined that this PIA should be updated to allow for the collection and dissemination of PII in a limited number of situations in order to respond to the evolving operational needs of the NOC. This slight modification is the purpose of this update. This PIA will continue to be reviewed every six months to ensure compliance. This will be done in conjunction with a DHS Privacy Office-led Privacy Compliance Review (PCR) of the Initiative and of OPS social media monitoring Internet-based platforms and information technology infrastructure.

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