We have previously mentioned guidance by the New York City Bar on US border staff searching smartphones, tablets and laptops, putting confidential and privileged client information at risk. (Risk Update, September 2017). After that, the United States Customs and Border Protection issued guidance on Border Search of Electronic Devices; some limitations on searches have been introduced which provide a measure of comfort in relation to clients’ privileged and confidential information on lawyers’ mobile devices, albeit not alleviating all concerns. A link to both guidance articles is on www.legalrisk.co.uk/news.
The Guardian reported on 24 August 2018 that a British-Australian citizen travelling through Sydney airport has had his devices seized and his digital files inspected by Border Force officers. He was a software developer. It is not clear what, if any, protections would be afforded if a lawyer were subjected to the same process.‹ Back to Publications