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Court of Appeal rules Immigration Exemption lacks appropriate legal safeguards (R (oao Open Rights Group and The3Million) v Secretary of State)

Court of Appeal rules Immigration Exemption lacks appropriate legal safeguards (R (oao Open Rights Group and The3Million) v Secretary of State)
Published on: 07 June 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Court of Appeal rules Immigration Exemption lacks appropriate legal safeguards (R (oao Open Rights Group and The3Million) v Secretary of State)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • Background
  • Data rights within GDPR
  • Restriction of data rights within GDPR
  • The Immigration Exemption
  • Appellants’ case
  • Respondents’ case
  • What did the court decide?
  • More...

Article summary

Immigration analysis: This appeal was a challenge to the lawfulness of the Immigration Exemption contained within paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). The Immigration Exemption allowed important data protection rights to be restricted by data controllers if it was said compliance with the rights in question would prejudice the maintenance of effective immigration control. This broad Immigration Exemption could be applied not only by public bodies but also private entities such as banks and landlords. Since its enactment it had been applied on several thousands of occasions by the Home Office alone. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, ruling unanimously that the Immigration Exemption contained inadequate safeguards and was incompatible with Article 23 of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). A hearing to determine the appropriate remedy will take place later this summer. This ruling is likely to strengthen the data rights of individuals subject to immigration control in the UK. It will likely have important implications for the ability of the Home Office, and other public and private entities to restrict data rights on the grounds of alleged prejudice to immigration control. Written by Waleed Sheikh, an associate solicitor at Leigh Day. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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