Hostile environment / Hostile environment data-sharing

Against Borders for Children complaint to ICO

After Against Borders for Children’s victory against the school census, the Department for Education didn’t delete the nationality and country of birth data it had managed to collect prior to the case.

And under a memorandum of understanding implemented in June 2015, the DfE had agreed to give the personal details of up to 1,500 schoolchildren to the Home Office each month to “create a hostile environment” for migrants.

Liberty acted as ABC’s lawyers in a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) against the DfE’s refusal to delete the data, and against sharing the data with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.

The ICO accepted the concerns raised by ABC and others, concluding that the DfE had failed to comply fully with its data protection obligations in the areas of transparency and accountability. The DfE has since agreed to delete all the nationality and country of birth data it had collected.


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