Australian Data Snafu Exposes Identities of 10,000 Asylum Seekers

The decision to turn them back just got a bit more complicated

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Asylum seekers gather at a hotel in Indonesia on February 8, 2014, after they were turned back by Australian Navy.

Australia’s Department of Immigration has inadvertently disclosed personal data on 10,000 asylum seekers, raising privacy concerns for a group that has every reason to keep a low profile.

The Guardian reports that information ranging from names to nationalities to locations in detention camps was mistakenly published on the department’s public website. The Guardian informed officials of the breach before breaking the news story.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison called the incident “unacceptable” and promised an independent investigation, according to Reuters. The error raises questions over whether any of those listed could now be repatriated, given that they may face reprisals for the very act of seeking asylum.

[The Guardian]