UK denies data protection rights to EU citizens seeking post-Brexit registration
The Home Office Christmas 2018 announcement of the post-Brexit registration scheme for EU citizens resident in the UK included the note that the data applicants supplied might be shared with other public and private organisations "in the UK and overseas". Basing the refusal on Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act, the Home Office refused to answer The3Million's FOI request for the identity of those organisations. A clause in the Data Protection Act 2018 exempts the Home Office from transparency and subject access rights in cases where honouring them would be likely to "undermine the maintenance of effective immigration controls". A challenge via the courts or the Information Commissioner seems unlikely to succeed. However, The3Million and the Open Rights Group have jointly launched a legal challenge arguing that denying EU citizens access to their data makes it impossible for them to challenge errors - and the Home Office has a 10% error rate in deciding immigration cases.
Writer: Tim Turner; The3Million
Publication: 2040 Information Law Blog; The3Million
Publication date: 2018-12-30; 2018-08-24