the3million and the Open Rights Group argue that the immigration exemption, which passed into law last year as part of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018, is unlawful.

First published in July 2019.

the3million argues that the exemption allows the Home Office to deny anyone involved in an immigration case their data protection rights. That’s not what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is supposed to be about. The Data Protection Bill is supposed to give people greater control over their data. Yet there is an immigration exemption within it that does precisely the opposite. It denies people access to their data when they need it most.

On day 1 of the High Court immigration exemption hearing Government revealed yesterday that the Home Office has used this controversial exemption in Data Protection Act to deny individuals access to their data in 60% of its immigration-related data requests since the beginning of 2019.

It was further confirmed that individuals were not being informed when the immigration exemption is applied.

Our QC Ben Jaffey argued that the lack of explicit notification leaves many without the ability to challenge the use of the exemption.

“This vague exemption provides a wide open opportunity for the Home Office to restrict access to data and avoid accountability for the mistakes it is regularly found to make,” said Matthew Rice from the Open Rights Group who are bringing this case against the Government with us.

“GDPR is about transparency and protection of our data rights. Today we found out that the Government have not told people when their rights have been curtailed – on a surprising scale of 60% of cases,” said our co-founder Maike Bohn.

We are fighting hard for transparency, fairness and againt discrimination against EU citizens and all immigrants in the UK. We are not shying away from taking the Government to court.

Please support our latest #DeniedMyVote legal challenge today.🔷


Did you know the3million is the leading non-profit organisation of EU citizens in the UK? We are grateful of your support, as we simply could not have campaigned for citizens’ rights over the last 24 months without you. If you can afford it, please become a paying supporter today to allow the campaign to continue for the next 24 months and beyond if necessary.

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 24 July 2019, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/sjiong. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)