At a public hearing tomorrow about New York City's new municipal identity card program (NYC ID), the New York Civil Liberties Union plans to provide recommendations on steps the city can take to better protect the security and privacy of vulnerable New Yorkers who apply for the new ID card.

"If undocumented New Yorkers are going to hand over sensitive documents such as health records, bank statements and their kids’ school records, the city must take every step to assure that law enforcement and immigration authorities do not have open access to that information," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "As the NYC ID law stands, the NYPD, FBI and Department of Homeland Security can request NYC ID applicants’ most private information without a warrant. Despite this serious inadequacy, there are steps the city can take to improve the NYC ID law so it benefits vulnerable New Yorkers more than it puts them at risk."

The NYCLU recommends that the NYC ID legislation include three basic protections for New Yorkers participating in the program:

1. The Human Resources Agency, tasked with storing the information required for the NYC ID, should be required to provide notice to any ID holder when his or her information is requested by another government agency (including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security).

2. Sensitive information such as health records and family members that is otherwise irrelevant to the NYC ID program should be redacted before private documents of NYC ID applicants are duplicated and stored.

3. Facial recognition software, which is invasive and reportedly often inaccurate, should not be used in conjunction with law enforcement authorities like the FBI and NYPD, and any NYC ID applicants who believe they were wrongfully matched by the software should have an effective means to appeal.

Read the entire testimony here: