U.K. Home Office breached data protection rules using electronic monitoring devices on migrants

In summer 2022 the Home Office began a pilot exercise in which about 600 asylum claimants arriving in the UK were fitted with electronic ankle tags enabling their movements to be monitored via GPS.
07 March 2024
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The UK's Home Office has been warned by regulators for violating data-protection laws through the use of electronic monitoring devices on migrants.

The department's pilot program, which involved fitting 600 asylum claimants with GPS ankle tags, raised concerns about privacy intrusion and lack of transparency.

The Information Commissioner's Office (or ICO) found that the Home Office failed to assess the risks adequately and did not provide sufficient information to those affected. The department has been ordered to amend its guidance on data collection and warned against restarting the monitoring regime without legal compliance.

The ICO's message to the Home Office is clear: information rights must be upheld, regardless of circumstances.

The Home Office defends the pilot's purpose of tracking asylum claimants, but acknowledges the need for improvements in documentation.

Further actions will be considered following the ICO's findings.

- CyberBeat


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