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New Guidelines on Government Profiling Announced

The Department of Justice has updated federal guidance on the consideration of race and other attributes when performing law enforcement activities. Federal law enforcement agencies are now prohibited from using race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when making "routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions, such as ordinary traffic stops." The guidance permits federal law enforcement to consider these factors when engaged in national security, intelligence, immigration law, and organized crime investigation. Federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs and Border Protection routinely use immutable characteristics, like race and ethnicity, to assign "risk-assessment" profiles on individual who are not suspected of any crime. EPIC has previously urged the government to end this practice and to suspend the Automated Targeting System's "risk assessment" scoring EPIC said that the use of factors such as race and nationality to profile individuals is unconstitutional. For more information, see EPIC: Automated Targeting System, EPIC: Passenger Profiling, and EPIC: EPIC v. Customs and Border Protection (Analytical Framework for Intelligence).

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