How US government gathers information about people crossing US borders



image As is known every time a person crosses the borders of the United States it is assigned a "risk assessment" score by the Department of Homeland Security. Such an identification is linked to the government’s efforts to control terrorist or criminal activity. The score involves a great deal of personal information which is submitted to the automated system (rather imposingly) called the "Automated Targeting System," or ATS.

Today it is still uncertain what exactly the US government collects about the average person. But a post of a security blogger Sherri Davidoff of Philosecurity demonstrates an example of an American citizen’s DHS travel records as obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. While portions of the document are redacted by the Department, it still reveals the ATS records include: credit card numbers and their expiration dates, IP addresses used to make travel arrangements, birth date and passport numbers, frequent flyer numbers (including those not used for the trip), travel agent information, hotel reservation data, and even travel preferences specified in the airline reservations.

The pictures of DHS records show that the government collects a lot of personal information including a full credit card number and expiration date which is according to some speculations necessary to determine a terror threat level. Besides, the blogger says that a change of hotels made only upon arrival for a trip wasn’t listed — suggesting the DHS gets its data from travel broker itineraries rather than tracking credit card receipts.




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