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UK Home Office data protection law breach: Jon Baines comments

Posted on 1 March 2024

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found that a pilot scheme from the UK Home Office that placed ankle tags on migrants on immigration bail breached UK data protection law.

Senior Data Protection Specialist Jon Baines provided comment on the decision, commending the ICO for their action, and has been quoted across various media publications.

Jon commented: “It is interesting - and encouraging in many ways - to see the ICO taking formal enforcement action in this area. Although data protection law gives rights to all individuals, there’s a strong argument for saying that regulatory action should be focused in particular on respecting and enforcing the rights of the most vulnerable in society.

“The ICO is making clear with this action that monitoring someone’s movements 24/7 is incredibly intrusive, and in the context of affected asylum claimants, disproportionate and unlawful.

“Recently, the ICO has been in the habit of issuing ‘reprimands’ for serious infringements, but the problem with reprimands is that they do not compel recipients to do - or refrain from doing - anything. By contrast, an enforcement notice, like this one - can require a recipient to stop activities, and failure to comply can be treated as a contempt of court. It will be interesting, therefore, to see if the Home Office decides to appeal this notice.”

Related coverage

National Technology News
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