Obtaining Your Travel Record Through FOIA

Budget Travel blogger Sam O’Neil recently demonstrated how you can obtain your own foreign travel record with a simple FOIA request. O’Neil shares his travel records in his December 22, 2008, blog post.

The background:

Since 2002, it has been mandatory for commercial airlines to share all passenger activity with the Department of Homeland Security for both citizens and non-citizens traveling through the United States.

The Automated Targeting System’s Passenger Screening Program monitors passenger activity and assesses risk for each traveler. The documents O’Neil received included information about everything from who he traveled with to the IP address of the computer that he used to purchase his airline ticket.

For more about making a FOIA request for you records, see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection FOIA webpage. The FOIA request must have your signature – a mechanism Homeland Security uses to ensure that your information is only available to you and the government.