Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Laptop Customs News

On Monday, November 6, 2006 the previously unknown to me Association of Corporate Travel Executives issued a warning to its members about carrying laptops in international travel. The association is rightly concerned about the risks to corporations of having a laptop seized as evidence at the border and losing access to important corporate information.

I've written on this before. At that time, though, I did not think of it in terms of corporate compliance. It is an issue. If one of your managers is traveling abroad with a computer containing sensitive information, your corporate policies should prohibit that person from storing any illegal or questionable information on the computer even temporarily (Customs and Border protection can look at deleted files, Internet caches, etc.). What you are worried about here is illegal information. There is no problem with your executives having a computer chock full of pictures of their kids and pets or the latest version Grand Theft Auto. A computer with images of child pornography, the Quicken books for a terrorist cell, or recipes for Ecstasy could present a problem. If the laptop is seized, it is not likely to go back to the company anytime soon. While you may be put out because your manager is sitting in jail, that is his or her problem. On the other hand, if the PowerPoint presentation needed to pitch the hot new prospect in Dubai is seized, that could be a real problem.

This about. Talk to your HR people about an appropriate policy.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if you have pirated software?

Larry F. said...

It's nice to have thoughtful readers. If the software is "piratical," meaning its production violated U.S. copyright laws, it can be seized. So, you are right to add that to the list of things to worry about.

Bruce White said...

Hi Larry,

Check out this article:

Travelers Beware: Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronic Gear

http://gdgrifflaw.typepad.com/home_office_lawyer

digital signature sharepoint said...

What if user has encrypted the data and how copes could decrypt it.and why people will need to carry the data in laptop when they can easily zip and save it in a mail or on an authorized access website.And then latter they can access that data from another country