EU citizens are now able to gain maximum access to all the records held against their names by the Home Office or any other body following the court of appeal's decision that the Data Protection Act 2018 argument put up by the Home Office to prevent such access had no merit and EU citizens attempting to gain access to their own records had been unlawfully denied that right, ruling that exemption. Paragraph 4, Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018 that says that "the right of access to a person's data (among others) does not apply in the context of "immigration control"", part of the EU retained law, does not apply.
The long three-year legal battle waged against the Home Office by campaigners from the charities 3million and Open Rights Group / resulting in the highly significant ruling, means that any EU citizen who is denied settled status or any other immigration visa in the future will be able to obtain full access to the Home Office databases and be able to see for themselves in those records what information is being held against their name.
It has been revealed that an estimated 10 per cent of the Home Office database that identifies a disqualified person was incorrect. There is still further legal steps to be taken as the Appeal Court judges have ruled that "further legal argument must follow to establish what remedies must be put in place."
The expert immigration lawyers in Giambrone's UK immigration team are now hopeful that now that the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018 has been ruled as "non-compliant" with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Home Office may be more rigorous in its scrutiny of applications and there will be fewer erroneous rejections. Instances, where members of a family find that children under the age of majority have been rejected will no longer occur. In the case of a criminal investigation, the rule still stands. Now that EU citizens can access their own information it is expected that there will follow a considerable number of challenges to Home Office decisions to reject an application for settled status now that enigmatic decisions can now be challenged more effectively and are no longer handicapped by lack of information and can correct information that has been wrongly placed against the name of an applicant.
The ruling may have implications in the wider application of the Data Protection Act.
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