USA targets social media histories in visa application amendment

It would seem naive to suggest that the State Department doesn’t have the ability to dive deeper.

The tightening of American borders has rarely been far from the news cycle in recent months, and recent visa application amendments are another tangible manifestation of this. The U.S. State Department has added a new mandatory section to its online visa application system (DS-160) requiring applicants to comprehensively disclose all social media platforms they have
utilised in the preceding five years. All usernames or handles used must be provided, although they stop short of demanding details of social media activity made on behalf of a business or organisation.

For now at least, they do not require access to passwords for personal accounts, which means their access should ostensibly be limited to one’s online activity that has been designated as public. That being said, it would seem naive to suggest that the State Department doesn’t have the ability to dive deeper. In any case, this development should encourage applicants to both manage their privacy settings, and indeed take care to ensure that there isn’t information on their social accounts that might contradict their indicated reasons for visiting the United States.

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