According to CBC news, Quebec resident Alain Philippon was arrested for refusing to give his smartphone password to border officials. Because Philippon intends to fight the charge in court, it will set a precedent as to whether a traveller must reveal their passwords when crossing the border.
Rob Currie, director of the Law and Technology Institute at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, said that under Canadian law, travellers crossing the Canadian border have a reduced expectation of privacy.
He said border officials have wide-ranging powers to search travellers and their belongings.
"Under the Customs Act, customs officers are allowed to inspect things that you have, that you're bringing into the country," he told CBC News. "The term used in the act is 'goods,' but that certainly extends to your cellphone, to your tablet, to your computer, pretty much anything you have."
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