The use of the Immigration Exemption under the Data Protection Act 2018

The request was successful.

Dear University College London,

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 regarding the use of the "immigration exemption" under Schedule 2 Part 1 Paragraph 4 of the Data Protection Act 2018. I ask you to provide me with:

1. The number of subject access requests (Article 15 General Data Protection Regulation) made under the Data Protection Act 2018 in:

a) 2018
b) 2019
c) by 30th September 2020

If feasible, please also provide the number of these requests that were immigration-related presented in the same timeline (2018 - 2019 - 2020).

2. The number of times information was redacted from the response to a subject access request on the basis of Schedule 2 Part 1 Para 4 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (the immigration exemption) in:

a) 2018
b) 2019
c) by 30th September 2020

3. The number of times appeals were made against the restriction in:

a) 2018
b) 2019
c) by 30th September 2020

4. The number of times those appeals were overturned in:

a) 2018
b) 2019
c) by 30th September 2020

Please provide the information in an electronic format most convenient to you.

If you require clarity on the request please do not hesitate to contact me at [email address] and I would be happy to clarify.

Upon locating the requested records, should providing these records for all years exceed the cost limit, please only provide data for 2020 (in the first place) and 2019 (if still within the cost limit). Should that still be too costly, please provide data for the most recent quarter (full three months) of 2020 for which these data are available.

Thank you for your prompt attention.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Kuba Jablonowski
the3million research associate
[email address]

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

If you have submitted a Freedom of Information request please accept this
email as acknowledgement that your request has been received. You should
expect a response from us within 20 working days. 

“You will appreciate that all information requests place some degree of
demand on a public authority’s resources in terms of costs and staff time
and that UCL may need to prioritise resources to other areas, or adapt its
usual approach to information compliance work, in order to meet the
unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic.

 

Therefore, we need to advise you may experience delays in receiving
responses to information rights requests during the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic.”

 

For details on how we use your personal information, please see UCL's
general privacy
notice: [1]www.ucl.ac.uk/legal-services/privacy/general-privacy-notice
Data Protection & FOI
Legal Services
UCL

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/legal-services/pri...

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

Dear Dr Jablonowski,

 

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your
request.

 

We can confirm that we do hold information of the description specified in
your request.

 

Your request

 

I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 regarding the use of the "immigration exemption" under Schedule 2
Part 1 Paragraph 4 of the Data Protection Act 2018. I ask you to provide
me with:

 

1. The number of subject access requests (Article 15 General Data
Protection Regulation) made under the Data Protection Act 2018 in:

 

a) 2018

b) 2019

c) by 30th September 2020

 

If feasible, please also provide the number of these requests that were
immigration-related presented in the same timeline (2018 - 2019 - 2020).

 

2. The number of times information was redacted from the response to a
subject access request on the basis of Schedule 2 Part 1 Para 4 of the
Data Protection Act 2018 (the immigration exemption) in:

 

a) 2018

b) 2019

c) by 30th September 2020

 

3. The number of times appeals were made against the restriction in:

 

a) 2018

b) 2019

c) by 30th September 2020

 

4. The number of times those appeals were overturned in:

 

a) 2018

b) 2019

c) by 30th September 2020

 

Our response

 

From our preliminary assessment, we estimate that compliance with your
request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under Section 12 of the
Freedom of information Act 2000, which is currently set at £450
(equivalent to 18 hours work) by virtue of the Freedom of Information and
Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

 

Section 12(1) states that:

 

“Section 12(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request
for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with
the request would exceed the appropriate limit.”

 

The section 12(1) exemption applies because we estimate that to determine
whether we hold the requested information and then to locate, retrieve and
extract it, would take longer than 18 hours to complete.

 

Section 12 applies to the information you have requested for question 1
regarding the total number of immigration-related subject access requests
as well as the information requested for questions 2, 3 and 4 due to the
manner in which these records are held. Specifically, we do not categorise
our subject access requests by topics. In order to therefore determine
whether a subject access request was immigration-related we would need to
individually review the record and correspondence for each request within
the time period specified. We have estimated that it would take us
approximately 10 minutes to determine whether a request was
immigration-related. In total it would take us approximately 51 hours to
determine whether we hold this data (10 minutes * 306 records = 3,060
minutes / 60 minutes = 51 hours). We estimate that it would take a further
20 – 30 minutes to check the redactions for each request to determine
whether the immigration exemption was used (in some cases this will take
considerably longer depending on the amount of information redacted for
the request). Further time would be required to determine whether any
complaints were received regarding the use of the immigration exemption.
This would therefore take us well over the appropriate limit at which
point the University is no longer obliged to process the request. In
accordance with section 12(1) the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) this email acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

We may however, be able to provide you with some of the information you
have requested i.e. the information requested for question 1 related to
the total number of subject access requests we have received for the full
time period requested as well as the information you have requested
related to the number of immigration-related subject access requests and
the information for the questions 2, 3 and 4 for the time period from 1^st
July to 30^th September 2020. If I can assist you further with this,
please let me know.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[1][email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal
Review’ in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the Chief
Operating Officer, alternatively you should write to:

 

Chief Operating Officer

University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given below.
You should do this within two months of our final decision. (Please note,
complaints and requests for internal review received more than two months
after the initial decision will not be handled.)

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this email and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

[2]www.ico.org.uk

[3][email address]

 

Kind regards,          

 

Mehwish Sultan

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser

University College London

Legal Services

E: [4][email address]; Data Protection: [5][email address];
FOI: [6][UCL request email].

Office phone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal extension: 57862); Mobile: +44
(0)7525285822

 

Working hours: Please note that my current working hours are Monday to
Friday 8am – 4pm.

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
6. mailto:[UCL request email]