US Customs stores duplicates of travelers' phone and laptop contents — including medical records, photos, and calendar appointments — without much oversight, report says

US Customs preserves data from phones, laptops, and tablets seized from international travelers.  The data is held for up to 15 years and can be viewed by thousands of CBP

employees. Some opponents of the practice, like Sen. Ron Wyden, believe it to be a violation of privacy. Thousands of international travelers' electronic data is quietly stored

in a US Customs and Border Protection database, viewable by thousands of its workers, for up to 15 years, The Washington Post reported. As one of the country's largest law

enforcement agencies, with a workforce of roughly 60,000 people, CBP is not required to have a warrant to search phones, tablets, or laptops — which opponents say is a

constitutional violation of privacy. "Innocent Americans should not be tricked into unlocking their phones and laptops," Sen. Ron Wyden said in a Thursday letter to the

agency. It's widely known to international travelers that CBP can rifle through electronics and belongings, but Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, recently shed light on the

agency's habit of storing data from seized electronics — including contacts, messages, calendars, photos, social media posts, and medical and financial records — in a database

more than 2,500 individuals inside the agency have access to. Information in the database can also be referred to other law enforcement agencies like the FBI or local police

departments. "Copies of documents or devices, or portions thereof, which are retained in accordance with this section, may be shared by CBP with Federal, state, local, and foreign

law enforcement agencies only to the extent consistent with applicable law and policy," a 2008 CBP search authority policy reads.