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Data Protection in Humanitarian Action



The International Observatory on Vulnerable People In data protection


Disclaimer: The resources are arranged per thematic sections to facilitate the consultation. However, we are aware of the intersections and overlaps thereof. We are also aware that pre-identifying categories of vulnerable people in data processing is not possible, vulnerability being a largely contextual and elusive concept. We are not claiming to be exhaustive, but to initiate a discussion.

Do you have any suggestions as to how improve the repository? Have you come across any resource that should be included in the repository? Contact us.

Migrants, people on move & and non-citizens

- Academic writings

Brouwer, E. (2020). Large-scale databases and interoperability in migration and border policies: The Non-Discriminatory Approach of Data Protection. European Public Law, 26(1), 92. https://doi.org/10.54648/euro2020005

González Fuster, G., & Gutwirth, S. (2011). When “Digital Borders” Meet “Surveilled Geographical Borders”: Why the Future of EU Border Management is a Problem. In P. Burgess & S. Gutwirth (Eds.), A Threat Against Europe? Security, Migration and Integration (pp. 171–190). VUBPRESS. http://works.bepress.com/serge_gutwirth/56/

Hayes, B. (2017). Migration and data protection: Doing no harm in an age of mass displacement, mass surveillance and “big data”, International Review of the Red Cross 99, 179-209. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1816383117000637  

Molnar, P. (2022). Territorial and Digital Borders and Migrant Vulnerability Under a Pandemic Crisis. In: Triandafyllidou, A. (eds) Migration and Pandemics. IMISCOE Research Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-81210-2_3

Molnar, P. (2020). Technological Testing Grounds – Migration Management Experiments and Reflections from the Ground Up. https://edri.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Technological-Testing-Grounds.pdf

Meier, P. (2011). New Information Technologies and Their Impact on the Humanitarian Sector, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 93, No. 884, pp. 1239 – 1263 https://www.icrc.org/fr/doc/resources/international-review/review-884/review-884-all.pdf

Quintel, T. (2018). Connecting Personal Data of Third Country Nationals: Interoperability of EU Databases in the Light of the CJEU’s Case Law on Data Retention. University of Luxembourg Law Working Paper, 2. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3132506

Stachowitsch, S., & Sachseder, J. (2019). The gendered and racialized politics of risk analysis. The case of Frontex. Critical Studies on Security, 7(2), 107–123. https://doi.org/10.1080/21624887.2019.1644050

- NGO Reports & Articles

Statewatch & PICUM. (2019). Data Protection, Immigration Enforcement and Fundamental Rights: What the EU’s Regulations on Interoperability Mean for People with Irregular Status https://www.statewatch.org/media/documents/analyses/Data-Protection-Immigration-Enforcement-and-Fundamental-Rights-Full-Report-EN.pdf

Naranjo, D., & Molnar, P. (2020) The Privatization of Migration Control. Retrieved from https://www.cigionline.org/articles/privatization-migration-control/

Open Rights Group (2020) Immigration, Data And Technology: Needs And Capacities Of The Immigration Sector https://www.openrightsgroup.org/app/uploads/2020/11/Immigration-Data-and-Technology-Needs-and-Capacities-of-the-Immigration-Sector.pdf

Privacy International (n/a). Protecting migrants at borders and beyond https://privacyinternational.org/protecting-migrants-borders-and-beyond

Rodelli, C. (2022). The EU AI Act: How to (truly) protect people on the move https://www.accessnow.org/eu-ai-act-migration/ 

- Data Protection Authorities' Guidance

- Laws

- Case Law

Court of Justice of the European Union

YS v. Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel, and Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel v M and S (Third Section) ECLI:EU:C:2014:2081 2014 https://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?docid=155114&doclang=EN


Open Rights Group & Anor, R  v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Appeal No: C1/2019/2726/QBACF Neutral Citation Number: [2021] EWCA Civ 800 2021 https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2021/800.html

- National

Open Rights Group & Anor, R  v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Appeal No: C1/2019/2726/QBACF Neutral Citation Number: [2021] EWCA Civ 800 2021 https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2021/800.html

- Policy documents

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. (2018). Preventing unlawful profiling today and in the future: a guide. Publications Office of the European Union. https://doi.org/10.2811/801635

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. (2018). Under watchful eyes: biometrics, EU IT systems and fundamental rights. Publications Office of the European Union. https://doi.org/10.2811/29

ICRC Rules on Personal Data Protection https://shop.icrc.org/icrc-rules-on-personal-data-protection-pdf-en.html

Hennebry, J., H. KC and K. Williams, 2021. Gender and Migration Data: A Guide for Evidence-based, Gender-responsive Migration Governance. International Organization for Migration (IOM).  https://publications.iom.int/books/gender-and-migration-data-guide-evidence-based-gender-responsive-migration-governance

- Global Developments

Africa Migration Data Network (AMDN) https://gmdac.iom.int/africa-migration-data-network-amdn

Aljazeera (29 August 2022). In Cameroon, refugees get a new lease of life with digital IDs. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/29/in-cameroon-refugees-get-a-new-lease-of-life-with-digital-ids

- Others