Which data traces travelers leave behind

2 min
Tags: Travelers data trances flights bookings hotels data hunters personal data record travel data

Which data traces travelers leave behind

It is very often necessary for travelers to hand over their electronic devices, including passwords, when they cross a border. The decisive factor is, of course, always the requirements of the respective country. This data is then copied during this process and later evaluated to prevent terror. At least that is the explanation. The main countries affected are China and the USA. If someone is conspicuous and wants to enter the country with encrypted data, they can be investigated. Therefore, it is advisable to only bring old devices that store the necessary data.

The traveler is not informed

What is really being done with travelers' devices is often not at all obvious. Only very few people know that the data is actually copied and analyzed. Data traces are also left behind when an application is made for a visa. The same applies to bookings for flights and hotels. Such data is sometimes stored for decades. State authorities then have full access to the relevant airlines and hotels for the transmission of this data. Therefore, as a traveler, it is important to take a look at the privacy policy of the respective travel platform. This must be published on the website. It is always interesting to see to what extent the personal data is processed and what purpose this is intended to serve.

The real data hunters

The real data hunters include the USA, the UK and China. In principle, however, it can be assumed that immigration authorities will follow this trend. Data collection ranges from direct travel data to fingerprints and a facial scan. Passenger data is sometimes even stored for up to 75 years. This data is recorded in a passenger information system.

In China, on the other hand, it is possible to store travel data indefinitely. Data protection plays only a subordinate role here. Meanwhile, corresponding fingerprints are also taken in the EU. The traveler himself cannot do anything against this storage of data. Nevertheless, it is possible to avoid additional data access with a few tricks.

Unencrypted public networks should therefore only be used to a limited extent. Third parties can read this type of data exchange all the more easily. Sensitive data and information, such as confidential emails or account data, should not be accessed or shared here. In addition, the automatic wifi connection on the smartphone should be deactivated during the trip. Otherwise, the cell phone will automatically connect to an insecure wifi. Only the most necessary data should be entered on the travel platforms if it is really important. For example, it is not necessary to provide an ID number when booking a hotel. Likewise, it is not necessary to provide a copy of the ID.

Traveler movement profiles

Data is also collected domestically, mainly mostly the movement profiles of travelers. Passenger data is also collected by bus companies or rail operators, for example. To what extent these are then transmitted is unclear. Movement profiles are undoubtedly created on the basis of the travel data.