The potential of deploying smartphone applications (apps) and other information communication technologies (ICTs) in the sphere of migration has gained significant attention in the last decade. Take, for example, tailored apps and their fundamental role in fostering migrants’ socio-economic integration in society. However, their deployment requires the processing of migrants’ personal data which holds specific human rights and data protection implications for individuals living in vulnerable situations. This contribution highlights the importance of implementing the key principles of data protection by design and by default into the design of apps developed for migrants’ integration, taking the approach that data protection is one of the last lines of defence for vulnerable individuals. It focuses on how the implementation of data protection principles can encourage transparency, increase migrants’ awareness of data protection rights and foster trust in the technology. We provide an example of their practical implementation in the REBUILD project and the efforts taken to ensure the apps created enable the integration of migrants without exposing them to harms associated with the processing of their personal data. We conclude that every initiative developing apps and other ICTs to support migrants should do so whilst embedding data protection principles into their design.
- Data protection
- Fundamental rights
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Whilst this contribution focuses on the use of ICT tools for migrant integration, the balance between human rights (and more specifically the rights to privacy and protection of personal data) of migrants and the benefits of technology has been discussed with regard to the use of technology for other purposes in the realm of migration, such as preventing human trafficking. This is discussed in Gerry et al. (2016).
The authors of this contribution are part of the team responsible for the ethical and legal impact assessment in the REBUILD project: www.rebuildeurope.eu
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The REBUILD project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 822215. However, the opinions expressed herewith are solely of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the point of view of any EU institution.
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Marcu, BI., Zomignani Barboza, J., De Hert, P. (2022). Trustworthy Migrant-Centric Apps and Other ICT Tools: Data Protection as the Last Line of Defence. In: Akhgar, B., Hough, K.L., Abdel Samad, Y., Saskia Bayerl, P., Karakostas, A. (eds) Information and Communications Technology in Support of Migration. Security Informatics and Law Enforcement. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93266-4_17
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-93265-7
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-93266-4