The UK's Data Protection Bill is far-reaching and long overdue, extending vital privacy protection to Britons — unless they're immigrants.
The Conservative government's xenophobia and racist pandering has produced a bill that strips three million UK residents of foundational privacy rights if these are deemed to interfere with "effective immigration control." It's a recipe for disaster from a government that has just created a national scandal by secretly engaging in mass-deportation of the legal migrants of the Windrush generation.
The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration officially estimates a 10% error rate in Home Office immigration status checks: under the "immigration exception" to the Data Protection Bill, every one of those error has the potential to turn a British resident's life upside-down, without any recourse to justice.
The Open Rights Group (disclosure: I helped found this group and volunteer for it) is crowdfunding £30,000 to challenge the immigration exemption in court. Your contribution will help secure justice for your friends, neighbours, doctors, nurses — and you, because the way a society treats its migrants is a beta-test for how it will someday treat its citizens.
Open Rights Group and the3million are seeking funding to enable us to:
To cover court fees and travel fees.
To cover our costs risk associated with the case. As not for profit organisations, we cannot afford the normal cost risk associated with litigation like this, so we will ask the Court to provide us with costs protection. In other words, we will ask the Court to limit the government's ability to recover legal costs from us to a sum of money. We are intending to ask for costs protection up to £30,000. We need your help to raise this money. We do not have sufficient resources on our own. Without your help, we will simply not be able to bring this important case.
Please pledge to support our legal case against the Government so access to data is maintained for all UK residents, irrespective of where they came from or where they were born.
Remove the immigration exemption from the Data Protection Bill [Nicolas Hatton/Crowdjustice]