Migrants’ Data Rights Under Attack

If you are a migrant in the UK, asylum seeker, refugee or working on this issue, you must read this carefully. The new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI Bill) is returning to parliament for its second reading; the changes in DPDI Bill will:

1. More Home Office Powers

Give the Home Office the power to repurpose the use of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers’ data to be used beyond what they consented to or expected, such as for immigration enforcement purposes or sharing data with their home country’s authorities, immigration authorities, without the need for explicit consent or a thorough assessment of the risks involved.

2. Fewer Safeguards

Eliminate the need to carry out a “balancing test” to weigh the interests and impact of data processing on the individuals. That would put migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers’ safety at risk if government agencies or other organisations used this to require employers, landlords, general practitioners, and any other private entity to hand over migrants’ data for various purposes, such as immigration enforcement or border security.

3. Less Scrutiny

Give organisations the power to refuse to act upon a data rights request, which will cause a chilling effect on the migrants, refugees and asylum seekers as vulnerable groups regarding exercising their right to request in such a hostile environment.

4. More Abuse

Remove the requirement to appoint a UK representative in overseas organisations. Potentially this will put migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers’ digital rights at risk, as they would have

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