Resources for migrants and asylum rights organisations
We have created this resource page because we know that minority and migrant communities are disproportionately placed under various forms of surveillance and data exploitation, for example by immigration authorities, benefits agencies, and the private companies that much of this work is outsourced to.
Broadly, the content falls into two categories:
1. Guides on privacy settings for your phone, and apps installed on your phone
2. Empowering you to exercise your data rights, by getting information from statutory bodies about you.
Whether it’s analysis of your social media posts, or tracking of your location, your phone would be at the core of many surveillance and data exploitation measures carried out against you. So, some of our guides have been designed to help you better understand privacy settings on your smartphone and some of the apps you might have installed on them, whether social media apps like Instagram or end-to-end encrypted chat apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram.
We have also produced a ‘Data Subject Access Request’ guide. This might be especially useful for organisations working on migration issues. It explores how data subject access requests can be used as an investigative technique about data held about an individual by a statutory body or company. And we hope it will empower individuals to exercise their own data rights, so that they have greater control over their data and are able to verify that data about them is processed lawfully.
Besides data protection frameworks, you might be also able to use Freedom of Information laws to request information and/or documents held by public or governemnt bodies. This could prove a useful tool to demand information, enhance transparency and hold public entities to account - if it is a tool you use, we have included some useful tips to make the most of it.
This guide is for anyone concerned about their social media accounts being monitored by public authorities, but it’s especially targeted at people from minority and migrant communities who may be disproportionately affected by various forms of surveillance.
Here are a few suggested tips, based on our own experience with Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs). This is based on DSARs under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but we hope our tips may be useful in other jurisdictions too.