Home Immigration News EU citizens to launch legal challenge over accessing immigration data

EU citizens to launch legal challenge over accessing immigration data

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Author: Tim Wyatt

Citizens from the European Union (EU) have won the right to challenge a law which prevents people from accessing immigration data held on them by Home Office and other state bodies.

Permission to bring a judicial review against the government over a clause in last year’s Data Protection Act, has been granted to campaign group the3million, which represents EU citizens living in the UK, and privacy advocates, the Open Rights Group.

Currently, the “immigration exemption” in the Act means EU citizens who have dealings with the Home Office about their immigration status, are barred from accessing the personal data the department holds on them.

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Other state bodies and several companies who are concerned with “immigration control” such as those seeking refuge in the UK, are also exempt.

However, after the High Court ruled ruled the groups could seek a judicial review, the3million will launch a legal challenge against the law.

The will claim the exemption is incompatible with the EU’s new data regulations known as GDPR.

The issue is particularly acute for EU citizens, who will soon have to apply for the new “settled status” to remain living in Britain after the UK leaves the 27 nation bloc.

The3million said EU citizens needed the right to access their Home Office data to be able to challenge any mistakes made and prevent wrongful deportations.

In 2017, the chief inspector of borders and immigration found the department had made the wrong decision in immigration status checks – needed to do things like open a bank account – in 10 per cent of cases.

Last year the Law Society said almost half of immigration decisions which are appealed are overturned which it said was “clear evidence of [the] serious flaws” in the Home Office’s procedures.

“If over three million EU citizens are going to apply for settled status, they must be able to do so knowing it’s safe for them to do it, with the right to see what the Home Office is doing with their data,” said Nicolas Hatton from the3million.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-citizens-immigration-data-personal-information-security-home-office-review-a8733676.html

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