Before helping design a criminal information project known as Matrix, a contractor gave federal and Florida authorities the names of 120,000 people who showed a statistical likelihood of being terrorists, reports the Associated Press. The “high terrorism factor” scoring system became a key selling point for the involvement of the company, Seisint Inc., in the project. Public records obtained by the AP from several states show that Justice Department officials cited the scoring technology in choosing Seisint as the sole contractor on the federally funded, $12 million project.
Seisint and the officials who oversee Matrix say the terrorism scoring system was kept out of the project, largely because of privacy concerns. New details about Seisint’s “terrorism quotient” including the revelation that authorities apparently acted on the list of 120,000
Matrix – Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange – combines state records and data collected by Seisint to give investigators fast access to information on crime and terrorism suspects. It was launched in 2002. Because it includes information on people with no criminal records, Matrix has drawn objections from privacy advocates. Utah and at least eight other states have pulled out, leaving Florida, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.