A decade ago when I signed up for Global Entry I rationalized turning over my biometrics because the government was already extensively monitoring everyone, in ways that had been inconceivable prior to 9/11. I wrote – long before the Snowden revelations – that the government was, for instance, collecting all cell phone geolocation data. We later learned they were even tapping internet traffic.
Once you sign up for Global Entry, though, the government performs a search on you daily, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s latest performance and accountability report.
- There are currently over 31 million people with Known Traveler numbers
- As of October 1, 2022 there were 7.4 million people with Global Entry
- 10 million applications were pending as that time.
Every day DHS performs searches on every single person with Global Entry for information that would suggest a change in ‘risk’, disqualifying them from the program. Around 12,000 people were kicked out of Global Entry in the government’s fiscal year 2022.
I’ve written about the reasons why people are losing Global Entry in the past, noting that the major reasons include:
- uncovering a past conviction that wasn’t disclosed during the application period (generally minor offenses over 10 years old, such as a DUI, are fine if you disclose them)
- a conviction while you’re in the program
- derogatory information from another government
- breaking program rules or rules in the immigration hall such as failing to declare items or bringing ineligible family members with you into the Global Entry queues, if the customs officer decides to make an issue of it
There are a number of factors that the government considers that have nothing to do with whether you’re likely to be a terrorist, or whether you’re likely to violate U.S. customs procedures. In some sense signing up for Global Entry means that you’re ‘on the government’s radar’ but given the scale, they’re scanning over 7 million people per day and they haven’t been able to clear a backlog of millions of applications, I still treat myself as sufficiently obscure and buried in the pile to feel any sense of being targeted.
Source : View from the Wing