Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff proposed requiring companies to retain data about their customers, under some sort of screening program under which filters would be applied to the data, GovExec.com reports.
"One of the proposals that was floated and shot down before I got here was screening for protection," Secretary Michael Chertoff said in answering a question posed by a member of the department's privacy committee.
"Instead of the government retaining data, and collecting it, we would screen against the data, [using a] civilian name, pinging it against a private database and then having the private data holder who has it anyway say 'yea' or 'nay, 'red flag' or 'green flag.' ... That might be a model for some kind of data-retention issue."
Oh yeah, Chertoff said, that might be kinda anti-privacy but let's not get hung up over labels.
"It's too easy to say something is pro-privacy or anti-privacy. ... Some of these are simply trade-offs on different elements of privacy," he said.