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DHS/USSS/PIA-028 United States Secret Service Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program (UAS)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Secret Service (USSS or Secret Service) is responsible for identifying threats, mitigating vulnerabilities, and creating secure environments for statutorily protected peoples, places, and events. The USSS Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information’s (SII) Counter-Surveillance Division (CSD) performs observation and counter-surveillance for indicators of operations that include planning, directing, and executing observation Counter-surveillance operations are also used to detect suspicious activity or pre-incident behaviors in support of the USSS protective mission. SII is in the process of requesting funding to establish an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program in Fiscal Year 2022. In the interim, SII is working to secure immediate funding to evaluate readily available small UAS (sUAS). The sUAS covered by this privacy impact assessment (PIA) will be tethered and will only use optical sensors. The sUAS proof of concept pilot testing will be conducted at various test sites around the U.S. with the goal of enhancing the current CSD aerial platforms. The USSS is conducting this PIA to evaluate the privacy risks associated with sUAS observation and image capturing capabilities. This PIA is limited to the use of sUAS during protective missions. Any use of other types of sensors by USSS on USSS aircraft—including sUAS—will be addressed in a future PIA. May 2020

Associated SORN(s):

  • DHS/USSS-001 Criminal Investigation Information System
  • DHS/USSS-004 Protection Information Systems
Created Date: May 22, 2020
Last Published Date: May 22, 2020
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