With the revelation that the passport files of all three major presidential candidates were wrongly accessed, Sen. John McCain’s office issued the following statement:
The U.S. government has a responsibility to respect the privacy of all Americans. It appears that privacy was breached and I expect a thorough review and a change in procedures as necessary to ensure the privacy of all passport files.
Yes, the government does have a responsibility to respect our privacy, retaining as confidential the data it collects as a condition of our exercising the right to travel.
And all the presidential candidates might want to take a look at a recent State Department notice in the Federal Register. It would open passport files to:
- the Department of Homeland Security,
- the Department of Justice, including the FBI, the BATFE, the U.S. Marshals Service, and other components,
- the Internal Revenue Service,
- INTERPOL and other international organizations,
- the National Counterterrorism Center,
- the Social Security Administration,
- public and private employers,
- Members of Congress,
- contractors, and
- foreign governments.
So, yes, let’s talk about passport privacy!