US Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked FBI Director James Comey to explain the purpose of a new FBI policy requiring people to upload copies of government-issued identification when filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, in a letter sent Monday.
“I write to express my strong concern that the ID requirement presents serious legal and privacy concerns,” Wyden wrote to Director Comey. “The FBI’s new eFOIA system imposes a requirement that can neither be found in statutory law nor case law.”
The Department of Homeland Security, among other federal agencies, does not require ID for FOIA requests.
The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1967 to shed light on the federal government by allowing Americans to request access to federal records. Classified documents, personal information and other categories of sensitive information are exempt from disclosure under FOIA.
Wyden also asked Comey how long the FBI plans to retain scanned personal IDs, who can access the IDs, how they will be used and whether photo IDs will be entered into facial recognition databases.