Personal privacy while travelling for work

Reading recent stories like UK tourists to US may get asked to hand in passwords or be denied entry has got me thinking. As someone who works for a multinational company who brings staff in and out of the USA I've started wondering about the border between personal privacy and your employment.

Personally I find the idea abhorrent that I could potentially have to give up the credentials for various sites, especially if they are non-public sites that where there is a no expectation that things will ever be public. This represents a massive violation of my personal privacy to enter a country for work. This really comes down whether you value your own privacy vs. your job. Truthfully this feels like a decision that an employee should not have to make, and one that could become more and more common if countries start trying to request this data.

This is not just a violation of my privacy for the data stored on the selected service but also or any associated site in the case of the social media based federated logins. Think of this, you give up your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.) username and password which then allows someone to view all sites and applications where that login has been used to provide authentication. The privacy tools provided by the social media sites actually aid in the leaking of data too. Providing a centralised list of all sites where the federated login has been used means that all those links between a single person and various sites also becomes compromised. This is one of the main reasons that I've moved away from all the federated login systems preferring to manage each independently.

I guess there is a second alternative and that is that people who want both privacy and have to travel internationally will just delete social media accounts. I wonder if Facebook, Twitter, etc. have factored in a government request like this resulting in people deleting their data. After all these companies only survive because people use them and share data, whether that's publicly or privately with a select group.

Remember Americans who just think this only effects foreigners, if you travel internationally you're the foreigner and don't believe for a minute that if the USA brings in laws like this that other countries won't do the same effecting American citizens.