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


I forgot my Group Identification number. How can I log in to check my status?

If you do not remember your group identification number, there are a couple of ways you can retrieve the number. One option is to get in touch with us to retrieve your group identification number here.

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Do I need a new ESTA application if my name has changed due to marriage,divorce, or another legal proceeding?

If your name has changed but you have not yet submitted your application, then you should make your changes and submit it. Although the form can be completed in minutes and the process of obtaining authorisation is usually quick, the U.S. authorities recommend completing the form at least 72 hours prior to your flight, or at the time of booking.

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Can a third party fill out my ESTA application for me?

Yes, a third party can fill out your ESTA form for you, as it is not compulsory for the person whose name appears on the form to complete the form themselves. It is acceptable for a third party such as a friend, parent, partner or travel agent to fill out all or part of the form on your behalf.

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