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What Should You Do If You’re Asked For A Digital Search At The Border

U.S. Customs Allows Pre-Approved Travelers To Bypass Passport Lines
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I’ve been back and forth to Canada many times throughout my life.  So, I have been through Customs quite a few times.  But I’ve never been asked this…

“What are your pin numbers and passwords to access information on your phone?”

Of course, the majority of times that I’ve gone to Canada were when I was in my late teens and early twenties.  So I didn’t really have a smart phone back then.  I know…it was so long ago.

But these days, it’s not uncommon to have a smart phone on you when you cross with not only your information on it, but possibly client information too.  That could be very sensitive material.

So what do you do when you’re asked for your passwords at the U.S. border?  Do you have to give them to the agent?  Can you say no?

According to this article in Buffalo Business First, you should give it to them if you’re a U.S. citizen.  They describe the border as a “legal gray zone” where certain rights and freedoms granted to an individual under the U.S. Constitution do not necessarily apply.

They also explain that while it would be unlawful to deny you entry into the U.S. as an American citizen, you could be delayed for a significant time if you chose not to allow them access.

Have you ever had this happen to you at the border?

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