ORG policy update/2018-w13

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 26/03/2018.

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ORG’s work

  • ORG are fundraising to recruit more permanent members of our legal team. Join ORG today to help out!
  • ORG is running a petition against the Government’s misguided proposals threatening fines for internet companies who do not rapidly censor extremist material shared on their platforms. Sign the petition here!

Official meetings

  • Jim Killock and Martha Dark met with Liberty to discuss their freedom of expression work.
  • Matthew Rice met with the Scottish Government as part of their expert group on Online ID Assurance.
  • Javier Ruiz spoke at CryptoParty London about Cambridge Analytica.

UK Parliament

The Easter recess in the House of Commons begins today, 29 March 2018, and will last until 16 April 2018. During this period, the House of Commons does not conduct ordinary business, so not many developments are expected over the coming two weeks.

Data Protection Bill progress continues

Last week, the Committee stage of the Data Protection Bill came to a close, with hearings on 20 (1, 2) and 22 (1, 2) March. The Committee discussed a code on processing personal data in education, personal data ethics advisory board and ethics code of practice, bill of Data Rights in the Digital Environment and review of Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations.

After the Easter recess concludes, the Bill as amended by the Committee will now be discussed by the Commons at the Report stage. ORG continue to track the progress of this Bill through Parliament.

Other national developments

BBFC launches consultation into age verification tool guidance

This week the BBFC, who have been appointed as regulator of age verification tools for online pornography, published their consultation calling for public views on the guidance they plan to issue to age verification tool providers. The consultation page on the BBFC website can be viewed here, and an overview of some of the main points made in the consultation can be found on the ORG Wiki on the Online age verification/BBFC Consultation page.

ORG plan to issue a response to this consultation as soon as possible, and will soon be providing guidance for supporters and members of the public who may also wish to respond.

The deadline to respond to the consultation is 23 April 2018.

Questions in the UK Parliament

Question about Facebook data collection

Chi Onwurah asked Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, "what discussions officials in his Department had with Baroness Fields on Facebook's data collection practices when (a) she was appointed Minister for Internet Safety and Security in 2015 and (b) she was appointed Special Representative on Internet Crime and Harms in 2016".

Margot James responded that "Ministers and officials have regular discussions with their colleagues across government to discuss a range of issues".

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2018-03-28-The Week-UK porn block: Digital Economy Act to limit access to adult websites
Author: The Week
Summary: Myles Jackman quoted in a story about the lack of public awareness about the forthcoming age verification requirements.
Topics: Online age verification, Privacy
2018-03-27-The Guardian-UK website age checks could create Facebook of porn, critics warn
Author: Damien Gayle
Summary: Jim Killock and Myles Jackman quoted in a story about age verification leading to a monopoly on the market for MindGeek.
Topics: Online age verification, Privacy
2018-03-26-Daily Express-'Utterly hypocritical' SNP have been harvesting voters social media data for SEVEN years
Author: Ben Borland
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about the SNP making use of data from the NationBuilder tool.
Topics: Data protection, Privacy
2018-03-24-LADbible-Study Shows UK Has No Idea Adult Films Are About To Be Blocked In The UK
Author: Daisy Phillipson
Summary: Myles Jackman quoted in a story about age verification and the potential dangers it represents to privacy.
Topics: Online age verification, Privacy
2018-03-23-The Sun-Porn blocked in the UK? You probably didn’t even know the XXX age checks were happening
Author: Sean Keach
Summary: Myles Jackman quoted in a story about age verification and the potential dangers it represents to privacy.
Topics: Online age verification, Privacy
2018-03-22-BBC News-Facebook data - do we get what we deserve?
Author: BBC News
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about the ongoing revelations facing Facebook around the re-use of their data by Cambridge Analytica.
Topics: Data protection, Privacy

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