It’s been an extremely busy March in the world of digital rights so let’s get right into it!
It’s been an eventful spring. In a landmark victory for digital rights, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect. Unfortunately the Government decided to add an Immigration Exemption into the Data Protection Act 2018, which means that millions of legal UK residents won’t enjoy GDPR’s full benefits. ORG is preparing a legal action as the fight now moves to the courts, while other campaigns loom on the horizon. Never a dull moment!
There are many reasons to celebrate GDPR. Companies must now use plainly worded language to earn the right to process your data. GDPR also allows you to revoke consent and request your data be deleted or corrected if inaccurate. Other benefits include stronger safeguards against criminal hacks and increased transparency into data processing. Test your GDPR knowledge with the quiz that WON’T steal your personal data.
While GDPR brings many benefits, the UK’s new Data Protection Act adds new British loopholes, including an “Immigration Exemption”. This jeopardises the rights of millions of foreign nationals living legally in the UK. Now that the Exemption is law, Open Rights Group and the3million have teamed up to take the Government to court. Thanks to our supporters, we’re on the brink of reaching our legal fund target of £30,000! Help us cross the finish line with a donation or share.
We’re less than a month away from a crucial vote on the EU’s Copyright Directive that could have major consequences for free speech online. The Directive contains Article 13 which requires platforms to use upload filters to check for copyrighted material and block it. Algorithms struggle to grasp context so are unable to reliably identify the vital legal exceptions to copyright that enable research, commentary, creative works, parody and so much more. Once in place, the Commission wants platforms to monitor for extremism and other things they think are illegal. There is still time to tell your MEPs to say no to Article 13!
The BBFC will issue their revised but toothless guidance on age verification tools soon for Parliament’s final say. This threatens the privacy of an estimated 20 million people who view legal adult material in the UK. We’ll need your help to raise the alarm when that happens, so keep a look out for important updates from us very soon. Learn more about what’s wrong with age verification for porn here.
ORG’s Executive Director Jim Killock recently spoke to the International Observatory of Human Rights about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the allegations of Russian interference in foreign elections, and about how social media users can protect themselves.
Jim also commented in a PBS NewsHour segment about the international effects of GDPR.
ORG Legal Director Myles Jackman spoke at the launch of Big Brother Watch's Face Off campaign, which aims to tackle the increased use of facial recognition in policing.
Join us for a lively discussion about digital rights & ORG's campaigns on data protection & free speech.
Tuesday 5 June
The Castle Inn
38 Castle Street
Cambridge CB3 0AJ
Let’s talk about Tor
ORG's legal officer Alex Haydock will be joining us for a special talk about the Tor browser, who uses it, and why you might want to.
Thursday 7 June
The Electron Club
350 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow G2 3JD
Will the digital revolution give us info democracies or info empires? Rufus Pollock’s new book The Open Revolution – New Rules for a New Age - explores the question.
Tuesday 12 June
133 Bethnal Green Rd
London E2 7DG
ORG’s Corporate Supporters help us to fight for the rights to privacy and free speech. If you own or work for a company that shares our values and concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org