Your Bosses Could Have a File on You, and They May Misinterpret It

For decades, much of the federal government’s security-approval-granting process has been based on technologies that emerged in the mid-twentieth century.

“It’s very manual,” said Evan Laser, president of Clearance Jobs, a website posting, advice for jobs, news and positions that includes security approvals. “Getting in the car to meet people. It is very ancient and takes a long time. “

The federal initiative, called Trusted Workforce 2.0, launched in 2018, formally introduced a semi-automated analysis of federal employees that takes place in real time. The program will allow the government to use artificial intelligence for employees who are seeking or already have security clearances for “continuous verification and evaluation” – basically, rolling assessments that constantly take information, throw red flags and self-report and Includes human analysis. .

“Can we create a system that investigates and investigates someone and is aware of that person’s nature because it exists consistently in legal systems and public record systems?” A company that focuses on the government side of internal analysis, said Chris Grizalva, Paraton’s senior technical director. “And from that idea came the idea of ​​continuous evaluation.”

Such efforts have been used more and more in government since the 1980s. But the announcement of 2018 was aimed at modernizing government policies, which typically re-evaluate employees every five or 10 years. The motivation for adjustment in policy and practice was, in part, the backlog of necessary investigations and the idea that circumstances and people change.

“That’s why it’s so important to keep people under some kind of constantly evolving surveillance process,” said Martha Lewis Deutscher. “Screening the System: Exposing Security Clearance Dangers.” The author of the book. She added, “Every day you run a credit check, and every day you run a criminal investigation – and banking accounts, marital status – and make sure people don’t get into situations where they would be at risk if they weren’t yesterday.”

The first phase of the program, the transition period before full implementation, ended in the fall of 2021. In December, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recommended that the effectiveness of automation be evaluated (although, you know, not consistently).

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