No matter which way you are crossing the border, Canadian Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have the right to stop and search you, ask that you hand over your electronic devices and request your passwords to unlock them.
Failure to comply with these demands could result in denied entry into the country, fines or even imprisonment.
If you are asked by an officer to provide your corporate device and password at a border crossing, take these steps:
- Ask the reason why you are being searched.
- Advise the border official that there may be sensitive and confidential company information on the device, and ask that it be treated appropriately.
- Immediately report searches of your corporate device to your company’s Privacy Officer – along with information about what was accessed – after the search has been concluded.
If you are travelling with a corporate device, it is imperative that you properly secure any information that is sensitive or confidential prior to departing.
You are also encouraged to:
- Never lose sight of your device to protect it from loss or theft.
- Ensure your device is password protected.
- Log off any applications you’re not using in case your device gets stolen or lost.
- Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and turn off the wireless and Bluetooth functions if they are not in use.