US-VISIT Program

Starting September 30 2004, visitors to the United States are electronically face-scanned and fingerprinted at the US border. Biometric information, together with a mass of associated personal data, is shared throughout the US government. Personal files are also shared internationally. These measures are part of an unprecedented traveller surveillance and profiling system that within fifteen years may encompass data on a billion people.

US-VISIT aims to collect, assess, process and retain biographic, travel, and biometric information on all visitors to the United States. The purpose of this collection is to identify people who are believed to potentially pose a threat to the security of the U.S., are known or believed to have violated the terms of their admission to the U.S., or who are wanted in connection with a criminal act in the U.S. or elsewhere.

This personal information will be retained for 75 to 100 years. Data on travellers from ally countries will be kept alongside data collected from nationals of countries that threaten to wage war, or are or were at war with the United States.

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US-VISIT Program