Worldwide ERC® Helps Push Renewed Efforts to Protect Transferee Personal Data

Tristan North - Sep 27 2022
Published in: Public Policy
Worldwide ERC is a signatory of a coalition letter of support and is reaching out to key congressional offices.

Worldwide ERC® has long advocated for policies to protect the personal data of transferees and military personnel from fraud. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) has now filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to protect the personally identified information (PII) of transferees and military personal who are shipping their household goods to the U.S. To assist in the effort, Worldwide ERC is a signatory of a coalition letter of support and is reaching out to key congressional offices.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) presently sells the manifest data on vessel shipments into the U.S. to data brokerage firms that post the information online to paid subscribers. The relocation overseas of a transferee can often require the shipping by vessel of personal goods. Making public the PII such as Social Security and passport numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers of transferees, including military personnel, exposes them to identity theft, financial fraud, and unwanted solicitations.

While it is not the intent of the CBP to release the sensitive data of individuals, the manifests currently provided to data brokers includes this information, and the CBP does not believe it has the authority under statute to remove the PII. The data brokers post the manifest information online to provide an analysis and trends on shipments not intending to expose the PII of transferees. The amendment, if enacted, would correct this problem.

Senator Daines, as well as senators Peters (D-MI), Wyden (D-OR), and Crapo (R-ID) and representatives Crist (D-FL) and Waltz (R-FL) have been pursuing several avenues over the last few years to address the issue. Worldwide ERC is a member of a coalition comprised of the Moving and Storage Conference of the American Trucking Association, International Association of Movers, National Association of Realtors, and Senior Executives Association, who are in support of the effort. If you would like to assist in the effort and engage with your members of Congress in support of the issue, please contact Worldwide ERC Government Affairs Advisor Tristan North at tnorth@worldwideerc.org.

The protection of the data of transferees as well as other regulatory policy issues will be hot topics for discussion at the upcoming Compliance Forum Meeting at the Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 25 October, at 2:15 p.m. The meeting is open to all Worldwide ERC members who are registered for the conference.