Remove the immigration exemption from the Data Protection Act: Part II

by Nicolas Hatton

Remove the immigration exemption from the Data Protection Act: Part II

by Nicolas Hatton
Nicolas Hatton
Case Owner
Nicolas is one of the founder members of the3million. Born in the Loire Valley, Nicolas has been a UK resident since 1995. Nicolas lives in Bristol
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Nicolas Hatton
Case Owner
Nicolas is one of the founder members of the3million. Born in the Loire Valley, Nicolas has been a UK resident since 1995. Nicolas lives in Bristol
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The Data Protection Act 2018 grants everyone the fundamental right of access to their personal data. However, an exemption included in the Act by the UK Government has meant that those seeking access to personal data for immigration purposes could be denied if it would “prejudice effective immigration control”.

This exemption had never existed before and the Open Rights Group and the3million launched a judicial review - successfully funded on Crowdjustice to fight the exemption. Disappointingly, the High Court decided against us. 

We are not giving up! We need your help to continue the fight!

the Open Rights Group and the3million are appealing against the decision. We still believe that the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018 as it stands breaches fundamental rights. It is a blunt instrument, poorly defined and ripe for abuse. Access to data is key to an accountable system, to correct errors that occur at an alarming rate in the immigration system. 

We now know the exemption is being used and is being used often.

 Our case has revealed that the Government has used the GDPR opt-out in response to 60% of its immigration-related data requests since the beginning of 2019. 

Millions of EU citizens are having to navigate the settled status application process to stay in the UK - they and other people involved in immigration cases are being denied full access to their data, exactly when they need it most.

This injustice could affect individuals far beyond the scope of immigration cases because administrative errors can ensnare any UK resident. Rights are meant to be universal, so when we apply them selectively it undermines the whole system and makes everyone vulnerable.

We need £15,000 to cover our costs risk associated with the case. Because we are not-for-profit organisations, we cannot afford the normal cost risk associated with litigation like this, so we will ask the Court to provide us with costs protection. In other words, we will ask the Court to limit the Government’s ability to recover legal costs from us to a sum of money. Without your help, we will simply not be able to bring this important case forward.

Open Rights Group and the3million will continue the fight against the immigration exemption, seeking an immigration system and data protection framework that respects the rights of everyone. Will you join us?

We need your help to continue the fight. Access to personal data is #accesstojustice.

Who we are 
the3million is the leading campaign group by and for EU citizens living in the UK. We’re entirely independent – so we can truly hold the Government to account.

The Open Rights Group works to preserve digital rights and freedoms by campaigning on digital rights issues and by fostering a community of grassroots activists.

If you would like further information on the case, please contact info@the3million.org.uk

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