Currently, when cargo ships enter U.S. ports they are required to provide Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with manifests that can include personally identifiable information like Social Security numbers and passport information.
The Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act would direct CBP to remove that kind of sensitive information before making the manifests open to the public.
The lawmakers are concerned that releasing the information of individuals relocating back to the U.S. could open them up to identity theft, fraud or unwanted solicitations.
“Unfortunately, families and people, including servicemembers, moving from abroad to the United States face an increased risk of identity theft and the government needs to take more steps to protect them from fraud,” Peters said in a statement.
The legislation was previously introduced in the last two Congresses.
The House passed the measure by voice vote in 2018, but the bill was not taken up in the Senate. In the next Congress, it never made it out of committee in either chamber.
“It’s simple. The private information of Montanans should be safe and secure,” Daines said. “We need to be ensuring all Montanans and Americans are protected against identity theft and fraud by increasing security and transparency.”