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Laptop and Data Security

Traveling with Electronic Devices

When traveling abroad with your laptop, you may be subject to export control concerns depending on the information stored on your laptop. Please review the Export Control requirements and contact your campus Export Control office to see if you need to take extra precautions with your laptop. Also, Ethics Compliance and Audit Services provides a webinar on Top Ten Things You Must Know Before Taking Your Laptop Overseas.

In addition, when traveling with any of your electronic devices, you may be a subject to a border search when re-entering the U.S. BEFORE you leave on your trip, please visit this UCOP FAQ Page that describes key U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) policies and your rights. UC Berkeley has also developed a helpful page on “Security Tips for International Travel”.

Data Security

It is important to have a data security plan in place before you leave for your destination. Remember that information stored on your laptop can be at great risk for theft or corruption. If you are going to bring your laptop, use a small hard drive to back up information and keep them in separate places.

Encryption software may trigger import or export controls. If you are encrypting data, make sure that the software you are using is not going to cause problems at the border. Visit the Export Control page and contact your campus Export Control office.

Furthermore, the data you have stored on your device may require special precautions if it is subject to HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. Prior to traveling, be sure to speak with your health center privacy liaison and campus privacy officials.

Last updated: 21 Aug 2017