US customs officials have been collecting private data from our mobiles without permission

US customs officials have been collecting private data from our mobiles without permission

  • A senator from the country has sent a letter from the Customs and Border Protection Office demanding that they stop these activities that violate the privacy of some of those who cross the border.

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office is forming a large database with the information seized from the smartphones of Americans and visitors to the country at the border, according to the Oregon senator. Ron Wyden. This has been known since this summer, but the issue became known through a letter sent yesterday to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus, a former Arizona police chief.

Wyden stressed that the agency was allowing thousands of employees to search the database “for any reason” and without warrants. Faced with this situation, he demanded immediate changes by letter, starting by stopping the phone searches without the approval of a judge.

In addition, the senator from Oregon demands from Magnus “a written plan” of the steps they are going to take to stop the non-consensual activities they were carrying out. “Innocent Americans should not be tricked into unlocking their phones and laptops,” Wyden said.

The politician recalled that the CBP “should not dump the data obtained through thousands of telephone searches without a warrant in a central database, retain the data for fifteen years and allow thousands of employees to search for the personal data of Americans when want it.”

Wyden thinks they may have abused a Fourth Amendment exception that allows customs officers to conduct “basic” inquiries on cell phones or laptops for suspected wrongdoing or people crossing the country.

According to the US senator, the border workers did not perform simple manual searches on the devices, but instead extracted all the information and stored it for up to 15 years.

In the database of the Customs and Border Protection Office they have collected the information of up to 10,000 devices per year on average. Among what officials could review upon entering were contacts, call logs, and messages that had been received or sent.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.