Don’t Sell Private Data to Immigration Enforcement

Target: Mike Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis

Goal: Stop LexisNexis from allegedly selling personal data to third parties, including immigration enforcement.

Data broker company LexisNexis has allegedly violated Illinois state law by collecting the private data of numerous individuals and selling it to third parties, like federal immigration enforcement. Concerns have been raised about LexisNexis contracts with law enforcement to use their Accurint product. Activists claim Accurint provides law enforcement officials, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with information not publicly available, giving almost instant “access [to] sensitive personal data — all without warrants, subpoenas, any privacy safeguards or any show of reasonableness,” according to Sejal Zota, legal director at Just Futures Law.

Immigration activists and lawyers are gravely concerned by the potential threat to the civil liberties of those whose data has been sold. They are particularly worried about the threat to immigration activists and migrants (many of whom are activists themselves), pointing to a $22 million contract between LexisNexis and ICE for the use of its Accurint product. Beyond being one more instance of commoditizing personal information and eroding our privacy, lawyers and activists have pointed out that data sales by companies like LexisNexis can provide loopholes for ICE to avoid complying with accepted privacy limits.

The potential civil rights violations occurring with LexisNexis’ sale of private data is incredibly alarming, particularly when paired with its contracts with law enforcement agencies like ICE. The negative ramifications for already more vulnerable community members – like migrants – should not be tolerated. Call on LexisNexis’ CEO to do everything in his power to stop his company from participating in these practices.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Walsh,

A recent lawsuit has alleged that your company is selling personal data to third parties, including law enforcement agencies like ICE. The lawsuit alleges that the Accurint product and the contracts LexisNexis holds with law enforcement are a serious threat to the civil liberties of all of the individuals who may have had their data sold, but particularly to migrants who are already more vulnerable community members.

If LexisNexis has indeed sold private data to third parties, it is not only a completely unacceptable practice, but a dangerous one as well. Such privacy violations can have significant real-life impacts. Please do everything in your power to ensure your company does not engage in these practices.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Dominic Smith


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