Seeking asylum in the digital era: social-media and mobile-device vetting in asylum procedures in five European countries

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Abstract

The increasing use of social media and mobile devices by asylum seekers offers new vetting opportunities for immigration authorities, to verify the identity or to assess national-security or 1F-exclusion aspects. Based on interviews with practitioners in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, the first experiences with both of these new methods seem to be mixed, while formal evaluations of the results seem to be lacking. We argue that the increasing reliance on these methods, in combination with the further advancement of technology, raises important questions about possible infringements on the right to private life, as well as the risk of function creep and social sorting. It can be questioned to what extent the use of these new vetting tools and methods is proportional to the results they produce and to what extent fundamental human rights, including privacy, are sufficiently safeguarded.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2020

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