Are you concerned about your data security when filling out the ESTA form? Having second thoughts while filling in all your personal details? You certainly have to answer in detail and with all honesty when it comes down to form filling.
This article explains how secure your data is and who is allowed access to it. Furthermore, you will also find out for how long will this data be stored in the official memory base.
Who Has Access to Your Data?
The information that you fill in the form is 100% secure. It is so because the official ESTA website is run by the government of the United States of America. Therefore, this site strictly adheres to the rules which are laid out by the US Privacy Act.
There are no circumstances in which any person can access your data illegally. However, your data may be reviewed by different components of the Department of Homeland Security. This information is shared officially and only with authorized departments.
Although the Departments of Homeland Security and the Department of State is authorized to review information filled into ESTA forms, they will only do so to determine if you are eligible for ESTA approval.
In the case of investigating violations related to applicants, information may also be shared with federal, tribal, local, or even foreign government agencies, as and when required.
The Department of Homeland Security is also authorized to share application information with intelligence and anti-terrorism agencies. This is only done so in particular cases related to national or international security.
How Long is the ESTA Application Data Stored?
Your ESTA application data is active for as long as your ESTA remains valid or till your passport expires, whichever comes first. After this time, the Department of Homeland Security will retain applicant information for one more year.
After a year has passed, applicant information will be stored in the DHS archives for 12 years. Only a few authorized officials have access to this archived information. The purpose of archiving information is to aid investigation in cases pertaining to national security.
In case of applications that are denied, the information will remain accessible for official use lifelong.
ESTA has been slowly and steadily replacing the I-94W. ESTA application data used in place of the I-94W will be stored for a period of 75 years.
Apart from your personal information, your payment details are also 100% safe and secure. Once the transaction is made, all payment details are removed from the ESTA website.
The information that you provide while filling out the ESTA form is retained for many years. However, state-of-the-art measures are undertaken by the US government to keep it safe and inaccessible to unauthorized individuals.
While filling out the form, rest assured that this data will only be accessed by authorized personnel and only when the need to do so arises.