The US border protection authorities apparently collect much more data on American travelers than previously known. If you are an American entering the USA, you should know that cell phones or laptops may only be searched with a search warrant. Anyone who nevertheless unlocks their mobile phone or laptop for the authorities is releasing their data for a long, long period of time. That has now become known.
The authority stores much more data about travelers than is permitted. According to a Washington Post report, senior officials at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have admitted that agency agents have copied travelers' personal information and stored it in a massive database since " at least 2007 ".
What happens to the data
Traveler data is accessible to 2,700 border security agents and they do not need a search warrant or a reason to access it. According to the report, around 10,000 new travelers end up in this database every year. This was not previously known. People knew that there was a database, but not how it came about or how extensive it actually is. Border Patrol agencies have admitted this in a letter to US Senator Ron Wyden, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus
wrote. This uncontrolled access by the officials to this database has in fact raised concerns because up to now no one has known exactly what this thank-you bank is all about.
Concerns from the US Senate
Many travelers are not made aware of their rights, the report said. "Innocent US travelers must not be tricked into unlocking their iPhones and laptops," says Senator Wyden, when all this data ends up in a large database and is apparently stored there for at least 15 years.