US House Advances Bill to Protect Moving Privacy

Senate Version Passed Last Year
Family moving
(kali9/Getty Images)

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Legislation intended to protect people’s personal information was easily approved by the U.S. House of Representatives this month.

The Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), would safeguard certain identifiable information of individuals moving internationally. It passed the chamber on Jan. 18.

“The personal information of every American should be safe and secure,” Waltz said shortly after the bill’s passage. “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. It is critical we take the necessary steps to protect them against dangerous and fraudulent activity. That’s why I am proud to pass legislation in the House to secure international travel and help safeguard the livelihoods of Americans.”

The bill, specific to individuals moving internationally with household goods, would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to remove personally identifiable information from cargo manifests before public disclosure. Examples of such information include Social Security and passport numbers.

Mike Waltz and Bill Pascrell

Waltz and Pascrell 

Last year, a Senate version advanced in the upper chamber. Its sponsors include Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

“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 commonsense, bipartisan bill pass the U.S. Senate,” Daines said last year.

“Identify theft is costly and disruptive to the lives of people in Michigan and across the country,” added Peters, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “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.”

Chris Spear


Based on background about the Senate bill sponsors provided in March, “This legislation would simply amend the manifest disclosure process to explicitly require the removal of individuals’ [personally identifiable information], such as names, addresses, social security numbers and passport numbers. This protects the original intent of manifest disclosures and protects PII.”

Various stakeholders endorsed the measure’s objective of safeguarding certain private information. “The American Trucking AssociationsMoving & Storage Conference is proud to serve our military and other families when they return home to the United States,” ATA President Chris Spear indicated. “Our members handle both household items and personal information with care, which is why they have long advocated for Congress to make commonsense changes to disclosure requirements on shipping forms.”

ATA Moving & Storage Conference Executive Director Ryan Bowley said, “We have strongly pushed for this legislation to help reduce repatriating Americans’ risk of having their identities stolen. We are grateful for Reps. Waltz and Pascrell’s leadership on this issue, and we will continue to work with Sen. [Steve] Daines and other champions on this issue to move this bill across the finish line to prevent unnecessary disclosures of Americans’ personal data.”

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