Trump approves plan to ask visa applications for social media history

The US can now ask visa applicants for information about their social media accounts.

The Trump administration has reportedly approved a plan to ask US visa applicants for information about their social media accounts.

That’s according to the BBC, which also shared a link to a form from the US Department of State with supplemental questions for visa applications, including: “Please provide your unique user name for any websites or applications you have used to create or share content (photos, videos, status updates, etc.) as part of a public profile within the last five years.”

According to reports, a US State Department official who told Reuters this information, as well as email addresses, phone numbers and 15 years of biographical information, can be requested when “more rigorous national security vetting” is needed. The BBC also reports the State Department expects roughly 0.5% of visa applicants will receive this form.

The form notes furnishing the information is voluntary, but "individuals who... do not provide all the requested information may be denied a US visa".

The questionnaire applies to visa applicants not using the visa waiver program, the BBC said.

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Lisa Lacy

Lisa Lacy is a senior reporter for The Drum, covering digital and search marketing. Based in New York, she writes about how brands use technology to connect with consumers, particularly as innovations like voice search, digital assistants and the Internet of Things change consumers’ lives forever – not to mention the data these platforms increasingly collect and the security and privacy issues therein. She is a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism. Her bucket list includes riding in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

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