Travel with High Risk Data

Travel restrictions, bans and limitations on certain devices on airplanes traveling into the Unites States from specific countries create unique data privacy and security challenges. Please use this page as guidance if you are planning to travel with high risk, confidential BGSU data on computers and other electronic devices.

If you have questions related to protecting confidential BGSU information, please contact the Information Security Office at    

For information on how best to handle and store University data, please review our Data Protection webpage.

We suggest that you not provide your password. Rather, unlock the machine for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent if you are compelled to do so.

  • Our understanding is that CBP cannot make you provide your password, but that they do have some rights to inspect your electronic devices.
  • “Compelled” could be due to subpoena, a CBP agent showing you the section of the law that provide CBP a right to require you to unlock your device for inspection, or circumstances are such that you believe you have no other viable option.

Yes, you can take your laptop with you in the cabin on international flights. The March 21, 2017 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ban on electronic devices larger than a cell phone or a smart phone from cabins on airplanes entering the U.S. from certain airports has been lifted. DHS does require increased screening procedures for all flights entering into the U.S.

  • Obtain the name and title of the individual confiscating your device.
  • Obtain a “receipt” or comparable written documentation that describes the device confiscated, under what authority, for what purposes, by whom and whom to contact regarding return of the device.

To minimize the need for having your personal or office device subjected to inspection, please request a BGSU-provided international travel laptop.

International Travel Laptop Request Form

Updated: 07/06/2021 10:42AM