ORG policy update/2018-w22

This is ORG's Policy Update for the week beginning 01/06/2018.

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ORG’s work

  • A huge thank you to everyone who has helped out so far by donating to our CrowdJustice fundraiser to help fight the Immigration Exemption in the Data Protection Act. Our fundraiser is still going and so far we have raised £29,000!
  • In preparation for our judicial review of the Immigration Exemption, ORG have submitted a chasing letter to the Government to follow our letter-before-claim, and have begun receiving letters of support from a number of other NGOs to submit along with our challenge.

Official meetings

  • Jim Killock met with Hamish MacLeod of Mobile UK to discuss and the Digital Charter.

Other national developments

Government considers holding company directors personally liable for nuisance calls

From GOV.UK: "Bosses of companies which plague people with unsolicited nuisance calls could be fined as much as half a million pounds under new proposals to make them personally liable if their firm breaks the law."

The law usually engaged to fine companies who are engaging in nuisance calls and cold calling is known as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). But "the UK data protection watchdog revealed last week it had recovered just over half (54 per cent) of the £17.8 million in fines issued for nuisance calls since 2010, as companies go into liquidation to avoid big penalties."

The new plans should see a drop in the number of bulk marketing calls and texts sent to customers who have not given appropriate consent, or who have opted-out using the Telephone Preference Service.

The GOV.UK news release can be found here.

YouTube deletes violent music videos flagged by Metropolitan Police

Reports suggest that YouTube has deleted over half of the music videos that the Metropolitan Police asked them to delete for promoting violence. The Met have been requesting the deletion of violent "drill music" videos, which Sky News suggests "feature hooded and masked gang members threatening each other with violent lyrics, gestures and hand signals".

Sky goes on to note that "in the past two years, the Met has asked YouTube to take down between 50 and 60 music videos, having to prove they incite violence for the requests to be successful.

The site has removed more than 30 of the clips from the platform - just over half - in cases where they were found to be in violation of its policies."

More information is available in this Sky News report, and in this BBC News report.

First UN report examining the regulation of user-general online content published

The Special Rapporteur’s 2018 report to the United Nations Human Rights Council is now online and focuses on the regulation of user-generated online content.

The report "examines the role of States and social media companies in providing an enabling environment for freedom of expression and access to information online. In the face of contemporary threats such as “fake news” and disinformation and online extremism, the Special Rapporteur urges States to reconsider speech-based restrictions and adopt smart regulation targeted at enabling the public to make choices about how and whether to engage in online fora. The Special Rapporteur also conducts an in-depth investigation of how Internet companies moderate content on major social media platforms, and argues that human rights law gives companies the tools to articulate their positions in ways that respect democratic norms and counter authoritarian demands. The report is the culmination of a year-long series of consultations, visits to major internet companies and a wide range of State and civil society input."

The report can be downloaded from Freedex here. The Freedex page also offers an overview of the report's recommendations to states and to companies.

ORG media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2018-05-28-WikiTribune-UK push for ‘porn passes’ raises privacy and data concerns
Author: Lydia Morrish (and other collaborators)
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story in the new collaboratively-edited WikiTribune.
Topics: Online age verificationPrivacy
2018-05-27-The Sun-Sainsbury’s customers blast CCTV screens that ‘could reveal PIN numbers’
Author: Charlie Parker
Summary: Jim Killock quoted in a story about supermarkets installing invasive CCTV systems at self-checkouts.
Topics: Privacy
2018-05-25-The Register-GDPRmageddon: They think it's all over! Protip, it has only just begun
Author: Rebecca Hill
Summary: ORG's legal challenge against the Immigration Exemption mentioned in a story about GDPR and the Data Protection Act.
Topics: Privacy

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