How secure is my data?

The ESTA website operates under the rules and regulations that are outlined in the United States Privacy Act to insure the privacy of your information. In fact, the U.S. Code § 552a - "Records maintained on individuals" states the following regarding the conditions of disclosure:
"No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains."
There are a couple of exceptions to the rule though, which are listed below:
  • Officers and employees of the agency that need the information to perform their duties
  • For routine use in a government agency
  • The Bureau of Census can request some of this information when they are carrying out a census
  • or a survey, e.g. the amount of people travelling to the U.S. or something similar.
  • To someone who is gathering data for statistical purposes only. The information then shared would not be individually identifiable.
  • The data can be shared for National Archives or records administration and if your ESTA acts as a I-94W then your data can be archived for 75 years.
  • Information on the ESTA application can be shared with another agency or governmental jurisdiction for law enforcement purposes.
  • Your personal information can be shared with the Congress for any congressional investigations.
Since the ESTA website is operated by the United States government, it uses technology to make sure that only people who are authorised can view your personal details and to safeguard your privacy.
It is important to note that law enforcement can look at your ESTA data if they need it for an investigation. For more information on how long information is retained by the U.S. government, feel free to contact us.

Related FAQs


Do I need to apply for an ESTA application if my flight passes through U.S. airspace?

No. As long as the plane you are on is not landing in any continental United States territory you do not require any ESTA authorisation (or visa) as you won’t be passing through U.S. customs and immigration or setting foot on U.S. soil.

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How can I check my ESTA application if the application number doesn’t exist anymore?

Once your ESTA permit has expired, you will not be able to check it and the number will no longer exist, therefore you will have to apply for a new ESTA authorisation. This means you will have to fill in the form once again and you will have to repay the fee.

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How to apply for ESTA

If you are travelling to the US and are from a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program then you will probably need to apply for an ESTA, unless you have an alternative form of visa to permit you to enter the US.

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