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Home Office: Data Protection

Home Office written question – answered on 14th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Smith of Finsbury Lord Smith of Finsbury Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their reasons for the exemption of the Home Office from the new data protection regulation; and what assessment they have made of the consequences of this exemption for individuals' access to their own personal data.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Bill (once given Royal Assent) will apply to the processing of all personal data by the Home Office. The Regulation and Bill, provide limited exemptions to the rights of data subjects but these may only be applied on a case-by-case basis and only where it is necessary and proportionate to do so.

We are looking to achieve an appropriate balance between individual’s rights and the wider public interest in maintaining an effective immigration system. People will still be able to request their own personal data as they can now. The rights contained in Article 15 regarding rights of access to information will be complied with wherever possible, we only seek to have the option to restrict those rights and withhold specific information from their records in cases where there is a likelihood of prejudice to our effective immigration control, for example on-going or planned enforcement activity.

All decisions will be kept under review and people will have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. This is a Government which puts transparency at the top of our agenda.

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