The Automated Targeting System is a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “decision support tool that compares traveler, cargo, and conveyance information against law enforcement, intelligence, and other enforcement data using risk-based scenarios and assessments.” It stores a wide range of records on people and cargo, collected directly as well as copied from other government data systems. (For more details, see CBP’s 2017 Privacy Impact Assessment update.)

Among those records are data that CBP extracts from individuals’ electronic devices — the subject of a recent letter from Sen. Ron Wyden to the agency, as well as coverage in the Washington Post.

Our FOIA request 📄 seeks all records that document the ATS, such as database diagrams and user guides. Such records are essential to (a) providing the public with a clearer and more specific understanding of the types of information DHS/CBP may hold about them, and (b) enabling the public to construct productive, efficient FOIA requests for particular slices of non-exempt database material in the future.

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