May 07, 2008 || “Keep data at the office”:

US Border Hassles Predicted for Traveling Employees

A warning has been issued to all global business travelers that personal and sensitive data on electronic devices, including laptops, could be seized.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) advised business travelers that they should not carry any confidential, personal information such as financial data, photographs and email stored on computers or wireless phones, they don’t want examined by third parties. The warning follows a decision by a US federal appeals court on April 21, 2008 which gives customs officials the authority to examine, copy and seize travelers’ laptops without reasonable suspicion.
“In a time of heightened international security, it will take a brave Congress to rule that parties may not be subject to suspicionless searches,” Susan Gurley, ACTE Global Executive Director said. A 2008 ACTE study indicated 81 percent of responding travel managers were unaware that laptops and other electronic devices that were seized could be held indefinitely.
Sixty-five percent said their companies have now instituted a policy restricting the amount of sensitive or proprietary data that could be carried on a laptop. ACTE advises business travelers to limit the amount of proprietary business information carried on a computer and if the laptop serves as a major home computer to get another one for travel purposes.
ACTE members include Hewlett Packard, ATP International, Philips Electronics, Expedia Corporate Travel Europe and Latin American air carriers, TACA and Copa Airlines, among others.


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