National databases of United States persons

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Various national databases of United States persons, and their activities, have been compiled by government and private entities. Different data types are collected by different entities for different purposes, nominal or otherwise. These databases are some of the largest of their kind,[1] and even the largest ever.[2] Accessibility of government databases may be controlled by various means, such as requirement of a warrant, subpoena, or simple request from another branch of government. Commercial databases are generally established for profit. Data breaches may occur as a result of a vulnerability or publication in error.



Data types Program Collector Nominal purpose Contains Accessibility Known breaches
Contact and educational information[3][4] Joint Advertising Marketing Research & Studies (JAMRS) Department of Defense Military recruitment Public school students 17 and older
Telephone call metadata MAINWAY National Security Agency Military national defense 1.9 trillion call-detail records (estimated) Assessed internally as "51% confidence" of being foreign
Consumer transactions[1][5] Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at least 10 million consumers data at least partially anonymized
Usual residency Census Census assignment of federal representation all persons Confidentiality protected
Identity, citizenship, residency, income, employment, medical, incarceration, and contact information Federal Data Services Hub Internal Revenue Service and Health and Human Services administration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act all persons
Exteriors of mail Mail Isolation Control and Tracking (MICT) United States Postal Service criminal surveillance all mail Request by law enforcement
Fingerprints[6] Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal and civilian monitoring 104 million persons (including 34 million non-criminals)
Finger and palm prints, iris, and facial data (under development to replace the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) Next Generation Identification (NGI) Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal and civilian monitoring
DNA Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal investigation 10 million persons
Income and employment Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Internal Revenue Service Tax collection Federal taxpayers 10,000's of 527 organization data[7]


Data types Program or Subsidiary Collector Nominal purpose Contains Accessibility Known breaches
Employment and salary records[8] The Work Number Equifax debt collection and consumer profiling 190 million records covering more than one-third of U.S. adults For sale
Vehicle location data[9] Vigilant Solutions Digital Recognition Network consumer profiling containing at least 700 million scans For sale
Vehicle location data[9] MVTrac repossession "large majority" of registered vehicles[9] For sale
Vehicle location data[10] National Vehicle Location Service over 800 million records[10]
Firearm ownership National Rifle Association[11] Political campaigning "tens of millions of people" (estimated) [11]
Stolen personal data SSNDOB [12][13][14] Larceny 4 million persons [14] For sale March 2013 [14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Merline, John (25 June 2013). "Think NSA Spying Is Bad? Here Comes ObamaCare Hub". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 17 July 2013. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "investors1" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cauley, Leslie (May 11, 2006). "NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls". USA Today. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  3. ^ Gonzalez, Juan (4 September 2009). "Back to School: Military Recruiters Increasingly Targeting High School Teens". Democracy Now. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Hanson v. Rumsfeld (Challenging DOD military recruitment database of high school students)". New York Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  5. ^ Dougherty, Carter (17 April 2013). "U.S. Amasses Data on 10 Million Consumers as Banks Object". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  7. ^ Malamud, Carl (7 July 2013). "Why We Asked the I.R.S. to Temporarily Turn the Lights Off on Section 527 Data". Public.Resource.Org. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  8. ^ Sullivan, Bob (30 January 2013). "Your employer may share your salary, and Equifax might sell that data". NBC News. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b c Angwin, Julia; Valentino-DeVries, Jennifer (29 September 2012). "New Tracking Frontier: Your License Plates". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  10. ^ a b Pilkington, Ed (17 July 2013). "Millions of US license plates tracked and stored, new ACLU report finds". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
  11. ^ a b Friess, Steve (20 August 2013). "How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  12. ^ Acohido, Byron (26 September 2013). "LexisNexis, Dunn (sic) & Bradstreet, Kroll hacked". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  13. ^ Yegulalp, Serdar (25 September 2013). "Identity theft service planted botnets in LexisNexis, other data providers". InfoWorld. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  14. ^ a b c Krebs, Brian (25 September 2013). "Data Broker Giants Hacked by ID Theft Service". Retrieved 22 October 2013.