Yesterday the U.S. State Department began implementing its requirement that nearly all U.S. visa applicants submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers as part of the application process. The new requirement, which could affect up to 15 million would-be ravelled to the U.S., is part of a broad expansion of enhanced screening under the Trump administration.
First proposed in March 2018, the State Department only just updated the application forms to request the additional information, according to a report from the Associated Press. In the past, this enhanced screening information, including email, phone numbers and social media had only been required for applicants who had been identified for extra scrutiny — primarily people who had ravelled to areas with a high degree of terrorist activity. Roughly 65,000 applicants per-year had fallen into that category, according to the AP.