Crossing the Border with Electronic Devices

[Reprinted with permission from the February 2019 issue of Communiqué by Darcia Senft.]

What You Should Know

It used to be the case that when a lawyer took a vacation, work was left at the office. While all of us may try to take a real break from work when we are trying to recharge our batteries, the reality is that clients have become accustomed to being able to email their lawyers at all hours of the day and on weekends. For a variety of reasons, lawyers often respond to client matters while they are on vacation or when out of the country for one reason or another. Lawyers often travel with a laptop or a tablet and almost always with a cell phone in order to access emails, client information and other work-related materials. Do you know what risks you face when travelling with your electronic device and what you can do to minimize those risks?

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has published a reference document for the legal profession dealing with the risks of travelling internationally with an electronic device. You can find the document here.

The document, developed by the Policy Counsel Counterpart Group of the Federation with the assistance of law society practice advisors, describes the risks of travelling with an electronic device when returning to Canada, going through preclearance with U.S. border officials on Canadian soil, and when travelling to the U.S. and beyond.

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