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New Zealand Customs Officials Can Now Demand That Travellers Hand Over Their Device Passwords

New Zealand Customs Officials Can Now Demand That Travellers Hand Over Their Device Passwords

The human rights groups announced a new law in New Zealand. The law says that travelers will be charged fines of up to thousands of dollars if they refuse in allowing borders officials to access their mobile phones. The law is announced by the Custom and Excise Act 2018 which came into existence this week. Now the custom and excise officials will have the right in demanding all the travelers to unlock any kind of electronic devices so that they can search the details easily. But if anyone refuses to show their device, then that traveler will be charged fine up to $3,200 (5,000 NZD).

As per the report, the officials can even hold the device as well as seize them from the traveler who specifically refuses in allowing a search at the border. Changes in the Custom and Excise Act 2018 in New Zealand which came into force now says that in addition to search the person’s laptop, phone, and any other electronic device, the officials will require use of the instrument in providing access information as well as other information that is necessary and reasonable in allowing a person in accessing the instrument.

The officers also have the right to copy anything stored on the device for the purpose of performing forensic searches. Apart from that examining all the data that is stored locally is allowed but anything. found solely on the cloud is off limits that include social media accounts.
After checking everything, the electronic device should also be returned to the owner of the device. The officials also need to make sure that the device is undamaged after completing the searches. Also, all the copies of the details should also be deleted. The legislation further explained, “the device may be accessed, reviewed and searched or investigated either by using the help of technology or manually aid that has completed a privacy assessment in consultation with the privacy commission.”

The Privacy Commissioner was very comfortable with the changes that occurred as per the law. Edwards says’ ” There is a good balance ensuring that our borders are protected as well as are not subject to any kind of unreasonable search of their devices.”

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