End Pre-Crime

Data and content is being weaponised to criminalise people without cause.

The police and criminal justice authorities are increasing using tech, data and AI to identify people who they believe are at ‘risk’ of committing crimes.

These flawed tactics, which include the Met’s gang matrix, the data mining of social media and the Prevent programme, can result in people having action taken against them even though they haven’t committed a crime. These programmes undermine our presumption of innocence and embeds and exacerbates discrimination that is inherent in our criminal justice system.

That’s why we urge transparency, public consultation and a moratorium on the use of tech in policing that will only amplify systemic oppression.

Social Media Weaponisation

Online content is being mined and used as digital evidence to create gang narratives. In conjunction with extended criminal liability, the weaponisation of content and data is increasingly being used to imprison young Black people and people of colour for offences they have not commited.

OPen letter to andy burnham

15 Civil Society Groups call for an overhaul of discriminatory police practices in the wake of the case of the Manchester 10.

Find out more

07 Oct 2022 By Sophia Akram

Young people are being criminalised for content

It’s a modern-day reality that pretty much anyone can go online today and write what they want with some form of audience available to them – whether that’s Facebook friends, Twitter followers or readers of a personal blog.
Find Out More
Young people are being criminalised for content

20 Mar 2023 By Sophia Akram

What’s wrong with ‘gang’ surveillance in the UK?

Just over one year ago, ten young Black men were charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to GBH in Greater Manchester.
Find Out More

25 May 2023 By Sophia Akram

George Floyd’s Murder, Three Years On: Insitutional Racism Hardwired in Police Tech

Three years ago today, rumblings of a global reckoning on racial injustice took place that led many people to reconsider their own experiences and roles when it came to anti-Blackness and racial discrimination.
Find Out More

The Prevent Duty

Prevent operates in the pre-crime space, in which no offence has taken place, but rather people are surveilled and viewed as suspicious. It operates by extracting data and policing information that further securitises the spaces of marginalised and vulnerable communities.

14 Feb 2023 By Sophia Akram

Prevent: Shawcross Review fails to address data harms and rights

On 8 February, the long awaited report – the Independent Review of Prevent – conducted by the commissioner for public appointments William Shawcross, was published after much scepticism, delay and controversy, even from within the cabinet.
Find Out More

28 Jun 2022 By Sophia Akram

‘Prevent’ and the attack on free speech

A review of the government’s controversial Prevent duty has been a long time coming.
Find Out More

Facial Recognition

Live facial recognition technology generates sensitive biometric data. Its previously disproportionate misidentifications among younger Black men in particular highlights the discriminatory nature of the technology.

18 May 2023 By Sophia Akram

Don’t use Beyonce to normalise live facial recognition

Its deployment is nothing more than our demise from democracy.
Find Out More
Don’t use Beyonce to normalise live facial recognition

15 Feb 2023 By Sophia Akram

UK Facial Recognition – No Consent, No Oversight

On 3 February 2023, the Wales cross-party group on digital rights and democracy – for which Open Rights Group serves as the secretariat – held its fourth session on surveillance and facial recognition technology in the UK.
Find Out More


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest developments affecting your digital rights.

Sign up now

Stop Data Discrimination

The government wants to make it easier for companies and authorities to use your data against you.
Find Out More
Stop Data Discrimination

The Story So Far

The case against police body-worn video cameras

A new investigation by the BBC has revealed a shocking incident in which Thames Valley Police officers made “sickening” comments about a woman, filmed semi-naked with police body-worn video cameras.
Read more

More Information

Press Releases