Cause of Action demands the Treasury Department stop collecting user location data online

WASHINGTON – Cause of Action, a nonpartisan government accountability organization, has submitted a letter to the Treasury Department requesting it cease the unauthorized collection of users’ location data online and investigate the program. Additionally, CoA has requested all relevant information on this data collection through a Freedom of Information Act.

While performing its oversight work recently, Cause of Action utilized a Bureau of the Fiscal Service (“BFS”) website under the control of the United States Department of the Treasury to conduct research.

We were surprised to find that when we attempted to access the Treasury Financial Manual located at, the website prompted us to allow it access to the our current location.  We were presented with a message stating the website “wants to track [the user’s] physical location,” and required us to choose to allow the Treasury Department to access our location or to not allow.

“In light of an unprecedented data breach at the Office of Personnel Management that affected as many as 18 million people, and the subsequent White House cover-up, it goes without saying this new discovery of more government data collection is incredibly troubling,” Cause of Action Executive Director Dan Epstein said. “We have dedicated ourselves to finding out what is going on behind the government curtain and continue to be amazed at the woefully failed White House pledge to run the ‘most transparent’ administration in U.S. history.”

Cause of Action believes that the location access request by Bureau of the Fiscal Service constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy, could discourage individuals from accessing government information, and is unlawful under applicable statutes, regulations, guidance, and policy. We are concerned that BFS is collecting data on the location of website users without any proper authority.

Cause of Action has requested that the Treasury Department cease the unauthorized collection of information at, review the propriety of this collection of information, and submit this matter to the Office of the Inspector General for investigation.