Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

Rebecca Hill reports:

The British Home Office’s bid to reduce the number of potential claimants from a 2013 data breach that exposed the personal details of thousands of asylum seekers has been knocked back by the Court of Appeal.

Rather than simply publishing overall statistics on the family returns process – the system by which children who have no legal right to remain in the UK are returned to their country of origin – the Home Office uploaded a spreadsheet that also contained the information that the stats were based on.

This included the names of 1,598 lead applicants for asylum or leave to remain, along with other details including their age, nationality, the stage they had reached in the process and the office that dealt with their case – which could be used to infer where they lived.

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