Supporter Newsletter - August 2019

From hosting our biggest event ever to the rollout of a fully interactive parody social media website, Open Rights Group (ORG) has gone from strength to strength this summer. We couldn’t have done it without thousands of dedicated supporters like you.

Data Protection Act legal challenge update

A June hearing on our challenge against the Immigation Exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018 at the High Courts of Justice revealed this controversial data rights opt-out has been used in 60% of its immigration-related data requests this year. ORG opposes the Exemption because it allows bodies including the Home Office, hospitals, employers and landlords to refuse people access to their personal data if releasing the information would “prejudice effective immigration control.” We expect a ruling in the autumn.

Biggest, best ORGCon ever

In July ORG held the biggest and best ORGCon ever with over 700 attendees and an inspiring keynote by surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden. Many thanks to those of you who attended. You can watch the entire main stage showcase here:

Futurebook takes your personal data. Seriously.

Last month also saw the launch of one of our most ambitious campaign websites ever, the parody social media website Futurebook. Futurebook offers a bleak glimpse of what the Internet could look like if all our digital rights are traded away in secretive international agreements post-Brexit. If you haven’t already, check out Futurebook and share it with your friends and followers.

Last month ORG also launched a website dedicated to giving the facts about the privacy risks of the Government’s age verification plan for adult websites in the UK. Go to to learn the privacy risks of age verification technology - whether you’re an an adult, under 18 or if you own a website.


What Scotland can learn from the facial recognition fiasco

While the trials of live facial recognition in South Wales and the Metropolitan Police have been a slowly unravelling catastrophe, the controversial surveillance technology is still an ambition for Police Scotland. Before trials can even begin to take place, there is a need to pause and learn from what has gone on down South, writes Scotland Director Matthew Rice. 

New Gov launches attack on end-to-end encryption

Priti Patel, the freshly appointed Home Secretary, started her new job with demands for technology companies to design access for security and intelligence agencies into their secure messaging systems. Ms Patel was writing after a summit of ministers of the Five Eyes spying alliance, where their joint communique expressed similar positions, also echoed in a speech by the US Attorney General W.P. Barr last week. The coordinated barrage has raised alarm bells among human rights campaigners worldwide. Stay tuned for more updates.

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