Incident 260: US DHS’s Opaque Vetting Software Allegedly Relied on Poor-Quality Data and Discriminated against Immigrants

Description: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s ATLAS software used in vetting immigration requests was condemned by advocacy groups as a threat to naturalized citizens for its secretive algorithmic decision-making, reliance on poor quality data and unknown sources, and alleged discrimination of immigrants using biometric and sensitive information.


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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

Little-Known Federal Software Can Trigger Revocation of Citizenship · 2021

Software used by the Department of Homeland Security to scan the records of millions of immigrants can automatically flag naturalized Americans to potentially have their citizenship revoked based on secret criteria, according to documents r…

U.S. Government Is Using an Algorithm to Flag American Citizens for Denaturalization: Report · 2021

U.S. citizens can be kicked out of the country based on the findings of a secret algorithm. The Department of Homeland Security is using an Amazon-hosted system called ATLAS that analyzes millions of records and can be used to automatically…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.