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Airline Passengers lose phone privacy rights

The New York Times recently reported that there have been a number of instances in which Homeland Security agents have requested airline passengers to unlock their phones in order to allow the agents to examine the contents, including your pictures, contacts, and text messages. Further, if your phone gives access to your social media accounts without the need of entering passwords, those accounts are also subject to inspection. You may refuse to allow your phone to be inspected but doing so can cause delays and great inconvenience, depending upon how the agents respond. The story seemed to suggest that persons going to and from suspect countries are more likely to have their phones inspected. One solution recommended: purchase an inexpensive temporary phone that does not have any sensitive data on it.

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