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Privacy and Records Office Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)?

A PIA is a document that analyzes how personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, maintained, used and disseminated by an ICE program or system as well as the risks associated with the collection of information. PIAs are required to be made available to the public. For a list of published ICE PIAs, please visit the DHS Privacy Office website.

What is a System of Records Notice (SORN)?

A SORN is a legally binding public notification identifying and documenting the purpose for a system of records, the individuals covered by the system, the types of records in the system, and how the information is shared. SORNs are required by the Privacy Act of 1974 and are published in the Federal Register to provide the public an opportunity for comment. For a list of published ICE SORNs, please visit the DHS Privacy Office website.

Does the Privacy Act of 1974 apply to foreign nationals?

As a matter of law, the Privacy Act of 1974 provides statutory privacy rights to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. In 2007, DHS issued a policy extending certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 to non-U.S. persons including visitors and aliens. To read the policy, please visit www.dhs.gov/privacy.

How do I locate a person who is in ICE detention for violations of U.S. immigration laws?

The ICE Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS) can be used to locate a detainee who is currently in ICE custody, or who was released from ICE custody for any reason within the last 60 days. See the ODLS page for more information.

You may also contact the local Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office nearest you. See the ERO contact page for more information.

How do I submit a privacy complaint?

If you wish to submit a privacy complaint concerning an ICE program, policy or action, please contact the ICE Privacy Office.

How do I submit a FOIA or Privacy Act amendment request?

If you wish to submit a FOIA request (to request copies of ICE records) or a Privacy Act amendment request (to request that ICE records about you be corrected), please contact the ICE FOIA Office.