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Coming to America? You could be asked to reveal social media IDs

The United States is pondering a change that would see immigration officials ask visitors to disclose their social media handles.

The Department of Homeland Security proposal could see an ‘optional’ field for ‘social media identifiers’ placed on the ESTA visa waiver form and the I-94W form.

The form would also ask users which social media platforms they use.

Even though the fields would be listed as optional, potential visitors may feel the need to disclose in order to safeguard their chances of gaining the travel visa.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology, told the BBC: ”It’s very hard to see travellers not filling out this item – even though it’s optional – as they may fear not getting entry into the country.”

The measures will be designed to prevent potential terrorists entering the United States, but will also be seen as another gigantic invasion into privacy.

Democracy in general requires having spaces free from government scrutiny and increasingly social life happens online,” Hall added.

“We would have a poor society if people were chilled from participating in social activity online so I really hope they rethink this.”

Would you add your social media identifiers rather than risk your trip to the United States? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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