JIG warns DHS about data mining supply chain transactions
Jackson outlines vision for Secure Freight data clearinghouse
A coalition of companies involved in global commerce plan to ask the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security to consult with the private sector before trying
to implement a third-party data warehouse of international supply chain
transactions to inform cargo inspection operations.
In a draft of a letter intended for Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Joint
Industry Group said the department’s plans for a Global Trade Exchange raises
confidentiality issues that can affect corporate global competitiveness, and
that failure to gain input from the trade community “could result in the loss of
trade stability and a significant erosion of confidence in Customs and Border
Protection and DHS.” The group anticipates sending the letter later this week.
CBP may issue requests for information regarding the data warehouse as early as this week, the JIG said in an e-mail to members. DHS officials have previously said that a data fusion center pilot program could begin this summer.
A private sector-managed data repository with so much information has the potential to be tapped by unauthorized parties that could harm U.S. businesses or national security, the group warned.
The data mining effort, which falls under the umbrella of the Secure Freight Initiative, would allow access to approved foreign governments to conduct their own cargo risk assessments. Many U.S. corporations believe foreign governments are inclined to share proprietary data with domestic firms to give them an edge against international competitors and there are no apparent systems in place to ensure data protection.
“The inability of companies to protect their own confidential data is a recipe for commercial disaster,” the JIG said.
The trade organization also questioned the need for the supply chain data clearinghouse when CBP is in the last stages of developing the so-called “10+2” ruling that will require importers and ocean carriers to provide the government a dozen pieces of information related to the purchase, transportation and delivery of goods from overseas.
It also said the Global Trade Exchange may also violate the Trade Secrets Act.