House Committee Passes Bill to Protect Moving Privacy

Bill Would Require Removal of Personal Information From Cargo Manifests, Including Social Security, Passport Numbers
Moving truck in front of house
“We applaud the [Ways and Means] committee’s passage of this important bill to protect military families and other Americans relocating from overseas,” said Ryan Bowley, executive director of ATA's Moving & Storage Conference. (

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Legislation designed to safeguard certain identifiable information of individuals moving internationally was advanced this month by a committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Reps. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) and Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) the bipartisan Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act aims to protect individuals’ personal information.

Specifically, the bill would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to remove personally identifiable information from cargo manifests before public disclosure. Such information includes Social Security and passport numbers. The legislation pertains primarily to individuals moving with household goods internationally.

“Privacy is deeply important for all Americans, in particular our service members abroad,” Pascrell said Nov. 2. “Unfortunately, we have found that our troops have been victims of identity theft. For security purposes, U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires manifest sheets to document the cargo of incoming vessels.

Bill Pascrell and Mike Waltz

Pascrell Jr. (left) and Waltz 

“The bipartisan Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act is a common-sense measure to ensure the data on manifests cannot be abused. Our plan will protect Americans from accidentally having personal information end up in the wrong hands.”

“The personal information of every American should be safe and secure,” Waltz said during the bill’s introduction earlier this year. “However, due to the current public disclosure of cargo manifests, our service members and their families experience a higher risk of identity theft and fraud as they move abroad.”

The bill’s floor consideration in the Republican-led chamber has yet to be scheduled. Companion legislation was advanced in the Senate.

Steve Daines and Gary Peters

Daines (left) and Peters 

“Montanans’ private, personal information should never be jeopardized just because they’re moving or traveling abroad. Safeguarding Americans from identity theft and fraud is a top priority of mine. I’m glad to see my common-sense, bipartisan bill pass the U.S. Senate,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said in March.

“Identity theft is costly and disruptive to the lives of people in Michigan and across the country,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) emphasized. “Removing sensitive personal information from manifests will help protect Americans who are moving back from abroad from fraud while maintaining safe and secure international travel and trade.”

The legislation is endorsed by stakeholders such as the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association, the International Association of Movers and American Trucking Associations.

“Given the sharp increase in identity theft crimes in recent years, government must take action to safeguard the personal information of all service members, federal employees, private sector workers and families who are returning to the United States after living abroad,” ATA President Chris Spear said Nov. 2. “ATA’s Moving & Storage Conference members have long pushed Congress to make this important change to protect their customers from becoming victims of financial fraud.”

“We applaud the [Ways and Means] committee’s passage of this important bill to protect military families and other Americans relocating from overseas,” said Ryan Bowley, ATA’s Moving & Storage Conference executive director. “This common-sense step would help to reduce repatriating Americans’ risk of having their identities stolen. We will continue to urge the House to move this bill across the finish line to prevent unnecessary disclosures of Americans’ personal data.”

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