Supporter Newsletter - February 2019

Fancy a break from Brexit? Here are some important updates about Open Rights Group’s recent work.

IMMIGRATION EXEMPTION CHALLENGE BREAKTHROUGH

ORG’s legal challenge with the3million against the Data Protection Act’s “immigration exemption” passed a critical hurdle in January when a court granted permission for judicial review. [1] The exemption contradicts the spirit of the Act by undermining the data rights of every UK resident connected to someone going through the immigration process. We look forward to our day in court and will keep you updated as the case progresses. Thanks again to all who donated to make this challenge possible.

POLICE SCOTLAND HALT CYBER KIOSK ROLL-OUT

On Thursday Police Scotland revealed they will not be rolling out dozens of cyber kiosks which can read seized electronic devices [2] until they can provide legal certainty. Chief Constable Iain Livingstone recognised that “We didn’t absolutely establish and articulate the clear legal authority and rights-based authority for the use of the equipments.” [3] The move echoed evidence ORG submitted to the Justice-Sub Committee [4] last year calling for a halt to rollout, citing the lack of clear legal authority as a concern. It’s now imperative that any report Police Scotland receives regarding the legality of the use of the kiosks is made public.

CLOGGED UPLOAD FILTERS

The movement to delete Article 13 and its upload filters from the EU Copyright Directive continues. Last week Open Rights Group signed an open letter to EU negotiations [5] along with 87 organisations calling for the removal of Article 13. We’re also coordinating an international lobbying effort to knock some sense into MEPs across Europe. Even if the final vote happens after we’ve left the EU, you can be sure the Directive will have a major influence on the UK.

QUICKFIRE NEWS

SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS for ORGCon 2019

ORGCon 2019 is happening on Saturday 13 July in central London! A hotbed of discussion, debate, activism and action, the day will have four themes: digital privacy, censorship & the role of algorithms, mass surveillance, and data & democracy. Expect a full announcement and ticket sales soon. Meanwhile we want to hear from you. Is there a unique presentation, panel discussion or workshop you think would fit well? If so, let us know your session idea [6] before this Friday 8 February at 8am.

INTERNATIONAL DATA PROTECTION DAY

To celebrate the 13th annual International Data Protection Day, Open Rights Group published a new report about the public’s understanding of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). [7] The report found that although GDPR instils powerful rights to protect your personal data from Internet companies like Facebook, most people don’t know how to take advantage.

WELCOME TO OPEN RIGHTS GROUPS’ NEW LEGAL AND POLICY OFFICER

We’d like to welcome our new legal and policy officer Amy Shepherd to the staff!  Her work focuses on digital rights issues in the context of Brexit and online free expression.

CORPORATE SUPPORTERS

Thank you to our corporate sponsors Automattic and Elegant Chaos for renewing their generous support!