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Waltz’s Legislation Safeguarding American Privacy Enacted into Law

Credits: WION/YouTube

President Joseph Biden has recently enacted the Moving American’s Privacy Protection Act (MAPPA), a bipartisan law introduced by U.S. Congressmen Mike Waltz and Bill Pascrell, along with U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Gary Peters, requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to eliminate personally identifiable information (PII) from cargo manifests before making them publicly available.

The legislation addresses the potential risks faced by American service members and their families during international travel due to the current practice of public disclosure of cargo manifests.

The exposed PII includes sensitive details like Social Security and passport numbers, making individuals susceptible to identity theft and fraud. The goal is to enhance the security of international travel and protect the privacy of Americans.

American Privacy Enacted into Law (Credits: CPO Magazine)

Congressman Mike Waltz emphasized the importance of safeguarding personal information, particularly for service members and their families relocating abroad.

He highlighted the higher risk of identity theft and fraud associated with the current public disclosure of cargo manifests. Waltz expressed pride in passing the bill through the House and Senate and having it signed into law.

Congressman Bill Pascrell echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the significance of privacy, especially for servicemembers stationed abroad.

He noted that troops are often victims of identity theft, and recent exposures of manifest data have led to instances of identity theft, credit card fraud, and unwanted solicitations.

Pascrell stressed the need to remove sensitive information like names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and passport numbers from cargo manifests before public disclosure. He commended the bipartisan effort to protect Americans from compromising their personal information.

The American Trucking Associations’ Moving & Storage Conference expressed pride in serving military families and advocated for commonsense changes to disclosure requirements on shipping forms.

ATA President and CEO Chris Spear applauded the passage of the Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act, stating that it represents a crucial step forward in protecting repatriating Americans’ personal data, reducing the risk of identity theft and financial fraud.

ATA’s Moving & Storage Conference Executive Director Ryan Bowley highlighted the legislation’s support from the trade data brokerage industry, the entire relocation industry, the National Association of Realtors, and the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

The legislation aims to address the current requirement by CBP to include PII in manifest sheets for customs and security purposes.

While public disclosure of certain manifest information was mandated in 1984 to enhance competition and facilitate public analysis of import trends, recent years have seen the inadvertent release of PII, leading to identity theft and other risks for relocating individuals. The new law seeks to prevent unnecessary disclosures of Americans’ personal data during the disclosure of cargo manifests.

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