A federal court in Boston has ruled that warrantless U.S. government searches of the phones and laptops of international travelers at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment.
Tuesday’s ruling in U.S. District Court came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.
The number of electronic device searches at U.S. ports of entry has increased significantly, the ACLU said. Last year, the government conducted more than 33,000 searches, almost four times the number from just three years prior.
Per Axios health care business reporter Bob Herman, exchanging patients’ health information is legal under federal privacy law, and this data sharing is common, even when patients aren’t aware. The government is making sure Google is contracted as a “business associate” with Ascension.