ORG policy update/2018-w15

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 09/04/2018.

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ORG’s work

  • Last week, ORG sent out an action to interested members about the proposed EU Copyright Filter, asking for signatures to forward to MEPs.
  • A number of ORG local groups are also running events around Free Speech and Extremism. The full list of events can be found on our events page.

Official meetings

  • ORG Staff attended the EDRi general assembly and 15th anniversary celebration.
  • Alex Haydock attended a research seminar at The Law Society, discussing "Businesses as Gatekeeepers of Online Content".
  • Mike Morel attended a seminar on campaigning for non-profits and charities held by FairSay.

UK Parliament

The Easter recess in the House of Commons began on 29 March 2018, and will last until 16 April 2018. During this period, the House of Commons does not conduct ordinary business, so we have not seen many developments this week.

Data Protection Bill progress continues

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

Other national developments

Home Secretary announces crackdown on "dark web"

Home Secretary Amber Rudd delivered a speech at the NCSC's annual conference this week, highlighting the Government's recent successes and failures in dealing with cyber crime.

Rudd announced that the Government would be investing over £50m during the next year to "bolster cyber capabilities within law enforcement at a national, regional and local level". She highlighted that at least £5m of this amount would be invested in local and regional police forces, as "currently only 30% of local police forces have a cyber capability that reaches the minimum standard". Rudd also promised £3m for the Government's Cyber Aware scheme which aims to provide public information and awareness about cyber security topics.

The Home Secretary's full speech can be read on GOV.UK here.

Durham Police criticised for use of data to profile offenders

Big Brother Watch released a blog post this week criticising Durham Police for their use of machine learning in ways which might amount to 'profiling'. Durham Police have been using the technology, cross-referenced with datasets purchased from Experian, which contain records on upwards of 50 million adults, to assess which suspects are at greater risk of reoffending and which should be treated differently.

Big Brother Watch suggests that the police force use a software package called the "Harm Assessment Risk Tool" to process this dataset and evaluate the risk of reoffending. According to the BBC, "among the broader categories Experian classifies people into are groups called 'disconnected youth', 'Asian heritage' and 'dependent greys'. The categories were annotated with lifestyle details such as 'heavy TV viewers', 'overcrowded flats' and 'families with needs'."

Big Brother Watch's full blog post can be found on their site here.

ORG media coverage

2018-04-13-New Stateman Tech-Why do politicians still trust Facebook with our fundamental rights?
Author: Jim Killock
Summary: Op-Ed by Jim discussing some reactions during Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in congress
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-11-BBC Three Counties-Roberto Perrone
Author: BBC Three Counties
Summary: Matthew Rice discussing Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in congress
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-11-BBC World News
Author: BBC World News
Summary: Matthew Rice discussing Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in congress
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-11-BBC One-Victoria Derbyshire
Author: BBC One
Summary: Matthew Rice discussing Mark Zuckerberg's testimony in congress
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-09-BBC 5 Live-5 Live Drive
Author: BBC 5 Live
Summary: Jim Killock interviewed about Facebook
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-09-Huffington Post-Political Parties And Advertisers Need To Be Held To Account: Here’s How
Author: Jim Killock
Summary: Op-Ed by Jim Killock arguing for amendments to the Data Protection Bill
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
2018-04-06-The Independent-Facebook Secretly Worked on Gathering Patient Data From Hospitals
Author: Anthony Cutherbertson
Summary: Jim Quoted in an article about Facebook trying to get access to patient data
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy
Author: Al-Jazeera
Summary: Jim discussing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica
Topics: Data Protection, Privacy

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