US can ask visa applicants for social media history

The Trump administration has permitted plans to ask US visa candidates for particulars of their social media use.

Consular officers can now ask for social media usernames going again 5 years by way of a brand new questionnaire.

It additionally permits authorities to request electronic mail addresses, telephone numbers and 15 years of biographical info.

This may be requested when “extra rigorous nationwide safety safety vetting” is required, a State Division official informed Reuters.

In accordance with reviews, the State Division expects that about zero.5% of visa candidates shall be given the questionnaire.

Critics have argued that the checks may result in prolonged, fruitless traces of inquiry or the gathering of private info not related to safety checks.

Offering the knowledge is voluntary, although the questionnaire informs candidates that “people who […] don’t present all of the requested info could also be denied a US visa”.

A proposal to request “social media identifiers” for travellers utilizing the visa waiver program was put ahead by US Customs and Border Safety (CBP) last year.

This got here into pressure for some visa waiver travellers in December 2016.

The brand new questionnaire applies particularly to visa candidates not utilizing the visa waiver program.

Analysis of social media exercise is more and more widespread, although US employers in Maryland and Illinois have been not too long ago banned – due to state-level laws – from asking job candidates for his or her social media logins.

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Printed at Fri, 02 Jun 2017 13:27:33 +0000