The Data Protection Bill is supposed to be about giving people greater control over their data. Yet it contains an Immigration Exemption that does exactly the opposite, by denying people access to their data when they need it most.
The Exemption removes individuals’ right to data protection if it is likely to prejudice “effective immigration control”, meaning victims of administrative errors will have no way to stop a typo from turning their lives upside down. This is a huge problem because according to the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, the Home Office has a 10 percent error rate in immigration status checks.
This will immediately impact the more than 3 million EU citizens living in the UK as the UK government wants them to apply for a new immigration status rather than confirming their existing rights after Brexit. If that wasn't bad enough, administrative errors have the potential to ensnare any UK resident. That's the problem with applying rights selectively. Rights are meant to be universal, that's why they call them rights.
Open Rights Group is teaming up with campaigners for EU citizens' rights the3million to get MPs to oppose the disastrous Exemption. Can you take a minute to write your MP to let them know you are concerned about your rights?
MPs will disregard copied emails, so use these guidelines to write your own unique message.
* The Immigration Exemption (schedule 2, part 1, paragraph 4) must be removed from the Data Protection Bill.
* According to the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, the Home Office has a ten percent error rate in immigration status checks. These mistakes can't be fixed unless the people affected can hold the Home Office accountable, but the Immigration Exemption prevents this.
* The Exemption would allow the Home Office and others to share and collect data without restraint or safeguards, defeating the whole purpose of the Data Protection Bill.
* Rights are universal, that’s what makes them rights. 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.
To learn more about why ORG & the3million oppose the new proposed status for EU citizens, go to https://www.the3million.org.uk.