President Donald Trump’s controversial “election integrity” commission is facing yet another legal challenge with a privacy-rights group saying the panel is breaking federal law by gathering massive amounts of information on the nation’s registered voters. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, which has been doing court battle against the voter panel for months, filed a revised complaint in District of Columbia federal court Thursday. Privacy watchdogs concerned about the panel’s activities have questioned whether the information can and will be kept safe from hackers and whether it will only used for research and not other political purposes. The Trump administration has defended the attempt to collect huge quantities of voter data by saying the panel is not technically a federal agency. Therefore, the argument goes, it does not have to do a so-called “impact assessment” to show that collecting the information doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy rights.
EPIC, however, says that because the panel has admitted it operates as part of the General Services Administration, which is a federal agency, it does have to prove it’s not stepping on Americans’ privacy before it can act.
“The Commission should suspend its data collection activities until the Privacy Impact Assessment is completed,” EPIC President Marc Rotenberg told Newsweek. “The Commission is placing at risk the privacy and security of American voters.”