I'm EU studying in the UK: say I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. I think expatriates is the most suitable StackExchange for my question, and I tried to add some meaningful tags: please suggest moving to another StackExchange website or suggest other tags, need there be!
A. Should I use the app for applying (either on my phone or by taking an appointment with some support centre), which information will be transmitted besides my face and the content of my passport? E.g. some information about the smartphone or its operating system, the internet connection... Incidentally, Google Play (on the web) doesn't show which permissions the app requires in order to work.
B. Should I apply by sending my document via post, will I be sharing more information than by applying as in "A."? For instance, *) I might required to fill in some additional form, or provide some address for correspondence which isn't required by the app. *) if I send my biometric passport (which, I know, I can also use the app for), then perhaps my fingerprints might be extracted from my ID (whereas perhaps the app wouldn't)? *) Should I post my EU ID card instead, then my EU home address (which appears on the card) might be stored by the Home Office?
C. Is there some way not to provide email address or phone number: my understanding is that every applicant needs both regardless of how they're applying. What about who doesn’t have either, or doesn't want to provide either?
With respect to this point, I understand that email or phone are mainly being used for requesting additional information in order to make some decision, and as authentication for successful applicants wishing to update their personal information online.
D. How long is any data related to my EU Settlement Scheme (application, outcome) kept for? I think two webpages of interest are https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-settlement-scheme-how-we-use-your-personal-information and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-information-use-in-borders-immigration-and-citizenship/borders-immigration-and-citizenship-privacy-information-notice
Both are extremely vague. In fact they provide some very rough indication, twenty-five years, without specifying on which information. They also mention that such is just the typical period of retention, they make a number of exceptions, they mention that the rules might change over time and even mention that there's currently some moratorium on the disposal of all records throughout the Home Office.