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DHS/ALL/PIA-036 Use of Unidirectional Social Media Applications

Unidirectional social media applications encompass a range of applications, often referred to as applets or widgets, that allow users to view relevant, real-time content from predetermined sources. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or Department) intends to use unidirectional social media tools including desktop widgets, mobile apps, podcasts, audio and video streams, Short Message Service (SMS) texting, and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, among others, for external relations (communications and outreach) and to disseminate timely content to the public about DHS initiatives, public safety, and other official activities and one-way notifications. These dynamic communication tools broaden the Department’s ability to disseminate content and provide the public multiple channels to receive and view content. The public will continue to have the option of obtaining comparable content and services through the Department’s official websites and other official means. This Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) analyzes the Department’s use of unidirectional social media applications. This PIA does not cover users sending content to the Department. Additionally, this PIA will describe the personally identifiable information (PII) and the extremely limited circumstances that the Department will have access to PII, how it will use the PII, what PII is retained and shared, and how individuals can gain access to their PII. Appendix A of this PIA will serve as a listing, to be updated periodically, of DHS unidirectional social media applications, approved by the Chief Privacy Officer, that follow the requirements and analytical understanding outlined in this PIA. The unidirectional social media applications listed in Appendix A are subject to Privacy Compliance Reviews by the DHS Privacy Office.

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Last Published Date: May 10, 2019
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