I’m a little hesitant to write this, but I’m going to and then I’ll report back to you if there were any consequences.
I’m traveling to the United States in a few weeks for the IAPP Global Summit (I hope you are too). But, with all the talk these days about border officials — both American and Canadian — conducting invasive searches of individuals' computers and cellphones, we at nNovation figured that it might be a good idea to take precautions in order to protect solicitor-client privilege. So, we have developed a policy for ourselves that no client information can be on our devices when we cross the border. Sounds simple, but it's actually a huge pain in the neck.
We are a relatively nimble and progressive small firm that's big on using technology to allow us to work from anywhere. At the same time, security is top of mind. (I would be soooo embarrassed if I experienced a breach. Would I ever get another client?) So, all client information is encrypted from beginning to end.
The only thing a border guard would be able to see if they took my phone — and insisted I gave them my password — are a few innocuous emails, family photos, and access to a neat Star Wars Lightsaber app.
Has all this talk about the lack of privacy at the border affected you? I wonder if people are actually choosing not to travel as a result.
And, to be clear, I have nothing to hide. And neither do my clients. It’s just the principle that some things should remain private. Period. Even if you’re doing something fantastic and great, if you want to engage your lawyer about it, then it’s the lawyer’s job to keep it private.
Read the story below about CBSA and American border guards searching mobile devices. I bet it makes you feel pretty powerless. A real lack of freedom. Is that what we really want? Have we gone too far in emphasizing security? Is all the security proportionate?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
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