Watchdog Slams US Plan to Collect Social Media Data from Visa Applicants

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Additionally, applicants would also be asked to provide telephone number, email address and worldwide travel history for the past five years.

Today, the State Department may file a proposed rule change requiring both immigrant and non-immigrant USA visa applicants to submit their social media information.

ACCORDING TO THE NEW STATE LAW THE new visa forms affected will be 710,000 and also 14 million non visa immigrants.Also to check for the first hand details they have also asked the visa applicants to provide social media applicants to provide the same. Apparently, the proposed rule would affect nearly 15 million foreigners who annually apply for a US visa.

The US visa proposals support President Donald Trump's promise to institute "extreme vetting" of foreigners entering the United States to prevent terrorism.

"The use of social media is a wrench in their tool box".

The State Department will propose these new requirements on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

An estimated 15 million foreigners who apply for United States visas each year will be affected.

It said that in May 2017, the state department collected social media information from applicants if it was required to confirm identity or conduct a rigorous screening of national security.

The development is the latest example of the Trump administration's enhanced vetting procedures for global travelers.

This level of disclosure would include both immigrant and non-immigrant applicants.

This comes amidst reports of a massive data sharing of millions of social media users for the objective of influencing election results. The public will then have a 60 days comment period.

"People will now have to wonder if what they say online will be misconstrued or misunderstood by a government official", said Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union. There will also be an optional section for applicants to share information about social media services not listed on the application.