Coalition Focuses on Immigration Orders, Data Practices, and Government Accountability

In a letter to DHS Secretary Kelly and Attorney General Sessions, a coalition of more than 25 open government organizations expressed concerns about the lawfulness and objectivity of data practices under several recent immigration Executive Orders. Official memos reveal the Orders are being implemented in “manner that is unlawful and inconsistent with federal information quality guidelines, raising serious privacy, transparency, and accountability concerns.” The coalition urged Secretary Kelly and the Attorney General to align data practices with privacy safeguards, open data, and data quality requirements. “Public data allows the public to hold its government accountable –

Coalition Backs Improved Government Transparency

In comments to Office of Government Information Services, a coalition of open government groups urged greater transparency for dispute resolutions. The coalition wrote that a proposed rule “would impose restrictive confidentiality requirements.” The coalition proposed revisions that “do not place restrictive confidentiality requirements on requesters” who use dispute resolution services.

Coalition Urges UN to Investigate US Social Media Monitoring

A coalition of human rights groups is urging the UN to investigate reports that the US is demanding entrants provide access to their cell phones and social media accounts. “These practices persist in violation of the United States human rights treaty obligations and your action is needed to hold the government accountable,” the group stated in a letter to the the UN High Commissioner on Human rights and other UN offices.

Coalition Recommends 10 Steps for the FTC to Protect Consumers in 2017

A coalition of consumer groups sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission recommending 10 steps the agency should take to protect consumers and promote competition in 2017. “American consumers today are at great risk of identity theft, financial fraud, and data breaches,” the coalition wrote, arguing that “proactive efforts to strengthen data protection will spur innovation and support business models that are sustainable over time.” The letter asks the FTC to increase its enforcement efforts, promote transparency, and pursue actions based on unfairness instead of relying on “notice and choice.”

Coalition Urges OMB to Preserve Access to Public Information

A coalition of over sixty organizations urged the Office of Management and Budget to preserve access to government information online. In a letter, the coalition called on OMB to ensure agencies give the public notice required by law before removing information. The coalition warned that agencies have begun removing information on topics “such as animal welfare, individuals with disabilities, climate change, and more from their websites.”