75 Fed. Reg. 412 (January 5, 2010)On January 5, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security Privacy Office published a "System of Records Notice" (SORN) that identifies certain fields of data that will be maintained in the SEVIS II system once it is deployed. The notice also describes the "routine uses" that the Government will make of that data. This SORN modifies a 2005 SORN that described the data and uses of that data within SEVIS I. Also refer to DHS's December 4, 2009 SEVIS II Privacy Impact Assessment.
Public comments on the SORN are due to DHS on or before February 4, 2010. NAFSA commented on January 26, 2010 .
The SORN is divided into the following categories:
- Expansion of routine uses of SEVIS information
- Expansion of individuals covered by the system
- Categories of records in the system
- Characterization of the SEVIS system
Expansion of routine uses of SEVIS information
The January 5, 2010 SORN (pp. 415-416) updates the 2005 SEVIS I SORN by adding 16 new "routine uses" of SEVIS records. A "routine use" allows information contained in the system to "be disclosed outside DHS as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3)." New paragraphs add since the 2005 SORN include paragraphs: E, G, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U. The remaining paragraphs in this section of the SORN are essentially the same as those in the 2005 SORN.
Expansion of individuals covered by the system
The January 5, 2010 SORN (p. 414) expands the categories of individuals covered by the SEVIS system to include:
- "a proxy, parent or guardian of an F/M/J nonimmigrant"
- "officials, owners, chief executives, and legal counsel of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and designated exchange visitor sponsors."
Categories of records in the system
The January 5, 2010 SORN expands the categories of records the SEVIS system to include:
|2005 SEVIS I SORN||2010 SEVIS II SORN|
|Biographical information ||Biographical information for F/M/J nonimmigrants and school/sponsor officials, and proxies, used in the creation of SEVIS II user accounts, specifically: |
The notice also states, "New personal data elements will be collected from F/M/J nonimmigrants and school/exchange visitor sponsor officials; the new data will primarily be used to establish SEVIS II user accounts for these individuals. In addition, limited personal information that was collected and maintained in the original SEVIS system will not be used by SEVIS II and therefore will not be migrated to the new system (i.e., Social Security Numbers, driver’s license information)."
Characterization of the SEVIS system
The January 5, 2010 PIA states (p. 416),
"The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this system from the notification, access, and amendment procedures of the Privacy Act because it is a law enforcement system. However, ICE will consider requests to determine whether or not information may be released."
The rule underlying the claim of exemption from the Privacy Act [73 Fed.Reg. 63057 (Oct 23, 2008)], described the purpose of the SEVIS system as "to collect and maintain pertinent information on nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors and the schools and exchange visitor program sponsors that host them while in the United States in order to ensure that these individuals comply with the requirements of their admission, it is possible that the information in the record system may pertain to national security or law enforcement matters."