The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection has begun to collect public comments on a proposal to add a question to U.S. arrival and departure record forms in order to collect information on foreign travelers’ social media identifiers.
CBP said in a Federal Register notice posted Thursday that it will also add the proposed question to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization in compliance with the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 that President Barack Obama signed into law in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.
ESTA is designed for use by foreigners who plan to travel to the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program.
CBP said in the notice that it plans to collect foreign travelers’ social media data to aid its investigation of “possible nefarious activity and connections.”
The agency noted that it will summarize and submit the feedback to the Office of Management and Budget to facilitate the review and approval process for its data collection request in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Comments to the proposal are due Aug. 22, according to the notice.