Australian Border Force officials searched more than 40,000 mobile phones, laptops and other devices at the border between 2017 and the end of 2021. ABF has broad powers to search travellers and ask for their passcodes. Reporter Josh Taylor talks to Jane Lee about what these powers are for and the difficulties in refusing these requests.
This is a reality researchers who cross Australia’s borders need to be prepared for, in case of identified sensitive data you are carrying with you, consider coding it and placing the code key on another device protected by two-factor authentication to prevent the Border Force from being able to identify your data. To do otherwise would be bad faith with your participants and potentially expose them to risk.