The High Court has begun hearing a challenge to the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption disapplies a range of data subject rights (including subject access rights and the right to erasure) where their application would be likely to prejudice the maintenance of effective immigration control, or the investigation or detection of activities that would undermine the maintenance of effective immigration control. It may be relied on by any data controller. The immigration exemption is being challenged on the basis that it is incompatible with Article 23 of the GDPR and in breach of the rights to privacy and data protection under the European Convention on Human Rights and/or the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Open Rights Group and the 3Million have brought the judicial review against the secretaries of state for the home department, culture, media and sport. Liberty and the Information Commissioner are intervening.
Hugh Tomlinson QC and Aidan Wills are acting for Liberty.