The Supreme Court has found that the Interior Ministry acted illegally in a program known as Project Sunshine, which extracted data from mobile phones confiscated from migrants arriving in small boats.
Immigration officials used a “secret” blanket policy to seize phones, which was illegally carried out by the immigration authorities, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday.
The verdict followed the revelation of Sky News The case of about 850 people is being investigated to see if the department has violated privacy laws, which could result in a 17 17 million fine.
This comes at a time when Home Secretary Pritty Patel is facing growing pressure on small-scale crossings in the English Channel, despite his promise to cut them in half.
More than 4,000 people made the dangerous voyage across the English Channel in small boats until now in 2022about four times more than last year this time.
More than 28,000 migrants were found during a perilous journey from France to the UK last year, 37 of whom drowned, according to the International Organization for Migration. almost double, reaching about 60,000 In 2022.
The court found that the immigration officers lied to the migrants, claiming that they could be prosecuted for failing to provide their mobile passwords when in fact there was no such crime.
Claire Jennings from Gold Jennings, one of the lawyers who initiated the case, said: “I am pleased that today the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of the plaintiffs and thousands of other asylum seekers like them.”
“These people” have not committed any crime, but they have nevertheless been subjected to this blanket and secret policy of having to hand over their cell phones and PIN numbers upon arrival, which causes them significant emotional and practical difficulties, “said Jennings.
“The systematic removal of personal data from vulnerable asylum seekers who were not suspected of any crime was a surprising, unprecedented attack on fundamental privacy rights,” Jennings added.
“Today’s verdict provided much-needed clarification on the right of immigration workers to be searched and confiscated, confirming without a doubt that the Interior Minister’s policy of seizing all cell phones from small ships was illegal.”
The spokesman of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said. “Wave crossings are a clear abuse of our immigration laws, but they are affecting UK taxpayers, endangering our lives – our ability to help refugees coming to the UK in safe, legal ways.
“It is a priority that we continue to go with those who facilitate dangerous crossings.”
“We are discussing the verdict, it would be inappropriate to make other comments at this stage,” they added.
Supreme Court rules against Interior Ministry over data from migrants’ cell phones | Science and technology news
Source Supreme Court rules against Interior Ministry over data from migrants’ cell phones | Science and technology news