From Iceland — Vietnamese Couple Win Against Immigration Directorate

Vietnamese Couple Win Against Immigration Directorate

Published March 1, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The Data Protection Authority has found in favour of a Vietnamese couple whose marriage made headlines last October, when the two were falsely accused of conducting a scam for getting a residence permit.

Last year, Thi Thuy Nguyen and Hao Van Tio found themselves in the center of national media attention over their marriage. As reported, a social worker at the National University Hospital (Landspítali) contacted the Directorate of Immigration (UTL) about the couple, casting baseless aspersions on whether or not their marriage was “real” or rather a deceptive arrangement designed to secure the issuance of a residence permit. UTL, in turn, contacted the police about the matter.

The couple denied the accusation, a residence permit was granted, and both Landspítali and UTL were accused of having violated the couple’s privacy. Vísir now reports the Data Protection Authority agrees.

According to their ruling, UTL had no right to pass on the information they had received from the hospital about the couple to the police. Doing so, they say, was a violation of the privacy of the couple according to Icelandic law.

Where the hospital is concerned, there is no record of the information leak to UTL. The employee who stood accused of the leak denied the charge, and said that he was no longer working at the hospital.

Whether or not the case will proceed to the criminal level remains to be seen.

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