According to an Associated Press article, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers searching electronic devices of travelers more often.
A local watchdog report made available today indicated there were 29,000 devices searched in 2017, up from the 18,400 the year before. CBP officials claim the travelers searched represent less than 1 percent of all travelers (ie, 18,400 searches out of 390 million travelers).
In general, travelers are required to hand over their electronic devices for inspection if they are referred to secondary inspection. Secondary inspection is after primary inspection (travel documents and passports). During secondary inspection, CBP may search phones, thumb drives, and computers.
A Office of the Inspector General for Homeland Security report found that some searches were not properly documented or conducted – for example, devices were not taken offline before hand. In general, CBP cannot access your information that is on a cloud network.
Will update again if/when CBP publishes a review process for searching electronic devices of travelers.
If you or anyone you know has had an item detained or seized by CBP, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at email@example.com.