Employers can protect company data by educating employees on security policies when traveling with company devices, such as laptops, cell phones, and tablets. Employers and employees may want to review the following tips before traveling with company devices.
Never access company data over public Wi-Fi networks in airports or elsewhere.
Label company devices as “Property of The Company” and include the contact information of the company’s General Counsel, IT Manager, and other appropriate personnel. This is critical for retrieving devices lost or left behind.
Use password protection on every company device.
Use social media prudently as it may prompt warrantless searches of your electronic devices by a U.S. immigration officer and may influence TSA PreCheck designations.
Be prepared to communicate your company’s confidentiality policy if asked to complete a secondary inspection when entering a U.S. airport or U.S. port of entry.
Human Resources professionals may request their employees travel with a letter describing the devices in the employee’s possession and restricting the release of data to any person(s) without the Company’s express permission. You may also place this warning on the device itself.All foreign nationals, and even some U.S. citizens, are subject to immigration inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon entry into the United States. During primary inspection, persons will be asked questions about the purpose of their entry and an immigration officer will review their passport, visa, and other supporting documents. Some may also be subject to a longer secondary inspection, which may include examination of belongings in the person’s possession.
If it is company policy, employees may explain that they are not authorized to turn over company property and should refer CBP to the appropriate company contact. If the officer insists, the employee may have to release the requested information and turn over the device since foreign nationals, and even some U.S. citizens, are not protected under the Fourth Amendment until they have been “admitted” to the U.S.
This is not intended as legal advice. For questions, contact your WR attorney or firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-VISA-LAW.