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


How secure is my data?

The ESTA websiteoperates under the rules and regulations that are outlined in the United States Privacy Act 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...

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What happens if your ESTA expires while you are in the USA?

If you are in the US and your ESTA expires then it is not an issue, as your ESTA must only be valid when you are entering the border of the US. This is when you will get checked by the border control authorities, so when you are returning to the UK or wherever else, there is no requirement to have a valid ESTA.

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My ESTA application expires during my trip. Does it have to be valid the wholetime I’m in the U.S?

Your ESTA authorisation needs to be valid for when you enter the U.S. and will allow you to stay within U.S. territory for up to 90 days from when you land. Therefore, it is okay if your ESTA does not remain not valid throughout your stay in the United States as long as you do not overstay the limit of 90 days.

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