Military commands throughout most of Europe were recently ordered to stop issuing common access identification cards to host-nation employees after privacy and legal concerns arose over the transmission of personal information across international boundaries.
The card can be used as a personal identification card and gives the card holder access to most U.S. military installations. Personal information, including an electronic fingerprint scan, is saved on a computer chip in the cards and is also stored in the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System and Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System.
The problem is that the information stored in two systems is accessible at any Department of Defense command in the world.
Each European nation has its own specific laws regarding collection, usage and transmission of its citizens’ personal information. DOD officials have said they are working to fix the issue.
An e-mail sent to Navy personnel officials in Europe states that the DOD has already resolved the problem with Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
The Navy’s Personnel Support Activity Europe would not comment, and Stars and Stripes was unable to get a comment from the U.S. European Command by deadline.
DOD is working with the Italian defense general staff to come to an agreement on the cards. The e-mail stated it might take several months before an agreement is reached.
Host-nation employees who have already received a common access card, known as a CAC, will not be required to turn them in and will be able to continue to use them.
Instead of the CAC, many commands are issuing base-specific access cards.