Launch of judicial review against the Home Office regarding the refusal to provide personal data of EU citizens

The3million and the Open Rights Group activists have filed an application with the High Court for a judicial review of the UK government refusal to provide European citizens with access to their personal data stored in the Home Office in connection to their immigration cases. Activists claim that the provision in the Data Protection Act 2018 illegally excludes the rights of EU citizens to receive private information that is owned by third parties.

During the hearings, it turned out that 60% of requests for disclosure of EU citizens' data were rejected from the beginning of 2019 referring to the aforementioned law. As a result, migrants and other applicants cannot appeal against the Home Office decisions.

Lawyers of the Home Office argue that this provision is fully in line with EU legislation regarding the collection and processing of data. Nevertheless, lawyers who represent the interests of activist groups are convinced that this is discrimination and violation of European law. EU citizens must have access to their personal data in order to know what information is held by the Home Office, how this information is processed, stored and transmitted, as well as to be able to correct any mistakes. Being denied the access to such information, mistakes made by the Home Office can be unnoticed, and decisions on immigration cases can be made on the basis of incorrect or incomplete information. This may even lead to cases of unlawful deportation. This point becomes even more important in the light of the fact that the Home Office makes mistakes when checking immigration status in 10% of cases.

Posted on Jul 23, 2019.

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