Evidence Source: Federal agency keeps detailed travel records on individuals

Cyrus Farivar was surprised by the level of detail about his own travels contained in PNR (personal name records) he received after submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request. U.S. Customs and Border Protection had kept close track of Farivar’s international travel dating back to 2005, noting everything from seat change requests to credit card numbers used for ticket purchases.

Farivar, an editor who works in the tech press, wrote here about receiving his 76-page dossier generated by travel industry software originally intended to aid travel agents and carriers keeping track of passengers with complicated itineraries.

Habeas Hard Drive sees a little-known evidence source apparently swept into federal records as part of the homeland security effort. It seems reasonable to believe that it’s all discoverable, for as long as CBP continues its current policies.

CBP could be subject to pressure and scrutiny now from privacy advocates who have expressed outrage. The story was also white-hot this week among information security professionals, who called out the feds for storing unencrypted credit card numbers and for hanging onto personal information for nine years.

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