Even for the average traveler, getting to the other side of the border is no longer a straightforward process. Next time you cross the border, you could be asked not only for your immigration documents (passport, visa, etc…), but also your social media passwords. This means that immigration officers would then have access to years of private emails, text messages, photos, putting not only traveler at risk of exposure, but also all of their contacts.
As a result of stricter measures by the CBP, Canadians may find themselves in situations where they either compromise their social media privacy or forgo their wishes to travel to the U.S.
The CBP can still search your device, without having access to your accounts that require passwords, but refusing to comply could potentially result in your device being confiscated, denied entry, or being questioned more extensively on your future visits. What's even more concerning is that such searches can be conducted not just at the border, but also at Customs Clearance in Canada.
This trend is even more alarming for Canadians with a criminal record because of the increased likelihood of an Immigration officer requesting access to private information.
What can you do to protect your privacy at the border?
This trend in U.S. immigration is alarming and Canadians need to be informed and prepared of the new reality they may face at the border in the coming months and years.
To learn more about this, or if you think you need a criminal waiver, please contact Toronto immigration lawyer, Janice Warren.
In practice for 20 years, Janice P. Warren has concentrated her immigration law practice on helping Canadians move to the United States and finding ways to make their move as efficient and cost-effective as possible.