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24 May 2022

CSOs send letter to Amazon Web Services about hosting the HART biometric database

"Letter to AWS re hosting of HART biometric database", 24 May 2022

We the undersigned human rights, immigrant rights, and digital rights organizations write to express our urgent concerns and begin a dialogue about Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) hosting of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) biometric database.

According to a new report from immigrant rights groups, DHS will rely on AWS to host this new database, which will vastly expand its surveillance capabilities and supercharge the deportation system.

HART... will aggregate data from U.S. federal agencies, local and state police, and foreign governments. When final, the database will include data on children, adults, immigrants, and U.S. citizens, including unsubstantiated information on people’s relationships, physical characteristics, religion, and travel patterns.

This mass biometric data collection by DHS is a deep invasion of privacy, an assault on human rights, and places hundreds of millions of people at risk of raids, detentions, deportations, and family separation. By hosting DHS’ HART database, AWS is directly facilitating the creation of an invasive biometrics database that will supercharge surveillance and deportation, risking human rights violations.

We request that Amazon Web Services end its agreement to host HART...