In May 2014, Cyrus Farivar reported on his efforts to learn what the feds know about me whenever I enter and exit the country. In particular, he wanted my Passenger Name Records (PNR), data created by airlines, hotels, and cruise ships whenever travel is booked.
ASK ARS: CAN I SEE WHAT INFORMATION THE FEDS HAVE ON MY TRAVEL?
One Ars editor tries to FOIA travel documents on himself.
But instead of providing what he had requested, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) turned over only basic information about my travel going back to 1994. So he appealed—and without explanation, the government recently turned over the actual PNRs I had requested the first time.
The 76 new pages of data, covering 2005 through 2013, show that CBP retains massive amounts of data on us when we travel internationally. His own PNRs include not just every mailing address, e-mail, and phone number I've ever used; some of them also contain:
The IP address that I used to buy the ticket
His credit card number (in full)
The language he used
Notes on his phone calls to airlines, even for something as minor as a seat change
The breadth of long-term data retention illustrates yet another way that the federal government enforces its post-September 11 "collect it all" mentality."
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