The Federal Register posted a notice [text] on Monday detailing an updated rule that will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track social media accounts of immigrants.
The social media accounts will be collected as part of the standard immigration review process to decide if an individual is permitted to remain within or gain entry into the US.
The notice expands the current collection process to the following:
country of nationality; country of residence; the USCIS Online Account Number; social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results; and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Executive Office for Immigration Review and Board of Immigration Appeals proceedings information.
The new rule will allow various federally enforced agencies under DHS to rely on already established relationships with commercial data providers to gather the information of any individual that passes through the immigration system to assist any immigrant and non-immigrant investigations. The purpose of the new rule is to streamline the data collection and storage of personally identifiable information to aid DHS officials.