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ESTA Privacy Compliance Review


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses social media identifiers to vet Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications, as noted in the September 2016 update to the ESTA Privacy Impact Assessment (DHS/CBP/PIA-007(g)).  In September of 2016, CBP began collecting, on a voluntary basis, social media identifiers from citizens and nationals of countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) who sought to travel to the United States.  The inclusion of social media identifiers on the ESTA application is the first time DHS has requested social media information as part of an application for benefits or travel to the United States.   The ESTA Privacy Compliance Review (PCR) report sets forth the DHS Privacy Office’s findings on CBP’s compliance with the ESTA PIA and provides recommendations for best practices to protect privacy when collecting and using social media identifiers.  The DHS Privacy Office found the CBP ESTA program’s use of social media identifiers is compliant with the requirements outlined in the PIA and made three recommendations to enhance privacy best practices. 

November 2017

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ESTA Privacy Compliance Review PDF 533.65 KB
Last Updated: 06/08/2022
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