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

In the document, the State Department also said that an applicant would have the option to "provide information about any social media identifiers associated with any platforms other than those that are listed that the applicant has used in the last five years".

The plan, if approved by the Office of Management and Budget, will expand the vetting regime applied to those flagged for extra immigration scrutiny - rolled out previous year - to every immigrant visa applicant and to non-immigrant visa applicants such as business travelers and tourists.

About 14.7m immigrant and non-immigrant applicants will be asked to list the social media usernames they have used for the past five years. Apparently, the proposed rule would affect nearly 15 million foreigners who annually apply for a USA visa.

As Engadget notes, officials have included social media handles and searches in Visa applications since before the Trump administration.

The new move is expected to affect almost 14 million visitors and about 700,000 migrants, said the department.

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

But the new proposal would add a tangible new requirement for millions of people who apply to visit the United States for work or pleasure, including citizens of such countries as Brazil, China, India and Mexico.

The U.S. State Department said Thursday it plans to require foreigners seeking visas to enter the United States to submit their social media histories.

Don Crocetti, a former senior fraud investigator for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said an individual's refusal to turn over their social media accounts couldn't alone be used to deny approval.

The revised visa application forms will also include additional information regarding the visa medical examination that some applicants may be required to undergo.

After this proposed issue the public would have around 60 days to propose to this issue.There will be one question which responds to the applicant which identifies the provider and preceding the day of the application.