Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Data Searches At US Border

WaPo: "Customs officials have copied Americans' phone data at massive scale".

Key excerpts of the first article:

[T]he revelation that thousands of agents have access to a searchable database without public oversight is a new development in what privacy advocates and some lawmakers warn could be an infringement of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

In a 2018 filing, a CBP official said an officer could access any device, including in cases where they have no suspicion the traveler has done anything wrong, and look at anything that “would ordinarily be visible by scrolling through the phone manually,” including contact lists, calendar entries, messages, photos and videos.

If officers have a “reasonable suspicion” that the traveler is breaking the law or poses a “national security concern,” they can run an “advanced search,” connecting the phone to a device that copies its contents. That data is then stored in the Automated Targeting System database, which CBP officials can search at any time.

Here are some tips on how best to protect your data privacy at the border crossing.