.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Big brother rears its head again

We should be used by now with the UK Government's disregard for privacy and individual rights when it comes to legislation on data protection. However, the latest back door infringement also has a racist tinge to it.

The Independent reports that new laws will give the Home Office the power to snoop on the personal data of millions of people for “immigration control”. They say that a little-noticed clause smuggled into data protection legislation creates an exemption to privacy rights for immigration investigations.

This has led to civil rights group Liberty to condemn the threat of “two-tier, racially discriminatory” rules. They have demanded that Parliament overturn the move:

Without a fightback, millions of migrants could have their personal information “corrected or erased” without knowing “who is processing their data, which data is being processed and why”, it warned. And the exemption is so broad that it could affect “volunteers running night shelters or food banks, or British citizens trying to access health services or education”.

Liberty suggested it had been inserted to allow the Home Office to more closely monitor EU nationals granted residency rights after Brexit.

Martha Spurrier, the group’s director, said: “Even from a Government with a track record of fostering division and sanctioning discrimination, this is a particularly brazen expression of how low they will go to bring border control into our everyday lives, no matter the cost.

“The Government can’t be allowed to sneak this nakedly racist provision onto our law books. We urge the Lords to take it out of the bill.”

And Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Why should migrants be denied the right to have their information processed lawfully, fairly and transparently? “Bank accounts can be frozen, people can be denied healthcare or a place to live based on errors that will never be corrected.”

A previous attempt to link data privacy to immigration control was defeated in the 1983 after a similar outcry, the groups pointed out.

The breadth of this provision is shocking. There are better ways of managing immigration than the sort of breach of basic rights and racial profiling involved in this measure.
Are we slowloy becoming a police state?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?