Government urged to scrap UK immigration exemption from Data Protection Bill

09 Mar 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Campaigners have called on the government to remove part of the Data Protection Bill that could prevent people from accessing UK immigration data held by officials.

The bill, which was originally passed through the House of Lords at the start of the year, poses a number of concerns, according to campaign groups. However, campaigners have stressed one of the most significant is the inclusion of a clause that would remove a person’s rights to access their personal data if it would prevent the country from carrying out effective UK immigration control.

According to those fighting the change, the law could prevent asylum seekers from gaining the information they require in order to appeal a Home Office decision or to challenge any possible mistakes.

In a statement, the Open Rights Group revealed they have launched a legal challenge against the exemption and written to home secretary Amber Rudd to voice their concerns.

They said: "Victims of administrative errors will have no way to stop a typo from turning their lives upside down.”

"Rights are universal, that's what makes them rights,” they added. “This exemption creates a two-tier system where immigrants will have less access to their personal data than UK citizens, which inherently undermines the whole system."