Tag Archives: privacy

LibLink: Daisy Cooper MP: Any contact tracing app must respect privacy and maintain public trust

In an article on Politics Home, Lib Dem Culture spokesperson Daisy Cooper sets out the flaws in the Government’s plans for a contact tracing app to slow the spread of Covid-19 and highlighted LIb Dem plans for a law which would underpin safety and privacy.

The public won’t use an app if they don’t trust it, she said as she highlighted criticisms of the government’s plans.

These problems stem from the Government’s decision to reject plans for a “decentralised” app – as recommended by the Information Commissioner and many technology experts, and being implemented in many other countries – and pursue a “centralised” one instead.

Under the first system, information about the other phones you “meet” is recorded on your smartphone and the contact matching happens on your device; under the centralised system, all of that information is uploaded to a central server owned and run by the Government.

Ministers must urgently explain why they have chosen a system that many are warning will make the app less effective and less safe.

What would the Lib Dems do about it?

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The Great Hack: What we should take away

If you have  a Netflix account it’s likely you’ve already seen The Great Hack.  This near two hour documentary  details the Cambridge Analytica scandal and examines the wider issue of our rights to our data. For many Liberal Democrat campaigners and Pro-EU activists who have kept up with this whole scandal, what the documentary revels is not new  but it leaves us with a cause that should be a natural rally for the Liberal Democrats.  It creates a foundation for meaningful policy regarding the giants of Silicon Valley and how our democracy and use of social media can work in harmony with each other. 

The Great Hack hints towards a potential path for the party which links our belief in economic liberalism and property rights along with our belief in privacy and personal freedom. Currently the data which we willingly leak onto social media is just skin deep for the user but behind the curtain this data is valuable information for advertisers and campaigners to ensure that the ‘right’ advertisement on visible on your Facebook or Twitter news feed. Globally this can range from the harmless like a good deal for a tent on Amazon to horrific and extreme cases where military personal in Myanmar manipulated users  using Facebook to facilitate genocide towards the Rohingya people.

Every day in the UK we see thousands  drawn into arguments online  and very little room is left for compromise or compassion. To paraphrase Carol Cadwalladr, in an effort to connect people, these social media moguls have instead facilitated on driving us apart. This has allowed for a sense of invincibility of consequence to our words and a thin layer of anonymity where we dehumanise to an extent those we disagree with and pander to those we do. It is vital that the Liberal Democrats start to lead the charge on how we should be thinking of social media differently as this is now here to stay and will be (already is in some cases) a central part of our lives.

 To start we need to explore the idea of breaking down Facebook’s monopoly of social media as Sir Vince Cable has mentioned in the past. Even though since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke Facebook’s users took a very minor hit, those same users appeared to just simply switch to Instagram which is also owned by Facebook. Secondly we must be fighting now for a major review of our electoral law and its relation to social media especially after the Culture Committee expressed the current laws are not ‘fit for purpose’.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

24 January 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats continue fight for a people’s vote
  • Tory failures result in increase in violent crime
  • Cable: Airbus warning a stark reminder of the livelihoods at risk
  • European Court of Human Rights rules against UK Govt on privacy case
  • Govt must repay £1.95 million to EU citizens

Liberal Democrats continue fight for a people’s vote

The Liberal Democrats have tabled an amendment to the Government’s Plan B calling on the Government to prepare for a people’s vote with an option to remain in the EU.

The amendment, supported by all Liberal Democrat MPs, also calls on the Conservative Government “to take all necessary steps to rule …

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The Independent View: Obscure powers secretly used to hoover up our data

 

If the question relates to section 94 of the Telecommunications Act, then I am afraid I can neither confirm nor deny any issues in relation to the utilisation or otherwise of section 94 (James Brokenshire, 18.3.2014)

As an MP, Julian Huppert spent considerable time pushing for information about the ‘astonishingly broad power’ of clause 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984, a clause which enables the Government to require telecommunications providers to cooperate with them in very broad terms. He tried to find out how often these extra ordinary powers were used and who, if anyone, was checking they were being used appropriate. He got nowhere.

As a result of litigation brought by Privacy International, the staggering use of this power has been exposed. Huppert’s suspicions were on track – GCHQ and MI5 have used section 94 to collect our data in bulk. They have been using these powers for 19 years in total secret, without even the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament having any knowledge of the use of Bulk Communications Data, or that section 94(1) was being (ab)used.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes…Nick Clegg has put Liberal Democrats far ahead of other parties on security and privacy

This morning was a good day for Liberal Democrats. I and many others went to RUSI, the Royal United Services Institute to hear Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of our party, deliver a speech on security and privacy in the internet age.

He sent out a clear and strong message: the legal framework for the UK’s intelligence agencies and intelligence oversight structure is in desperate need of an overhaul, and this must start with an independent review, which he has commissioned.

His wider ambitions are set out in a piece for the Guardian today. The Tories are blocking changes …

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Opinion: Do people not care about civil liberties?

It is inevitable that amongst the images of more than 1.8 million Yahoo! users hoovered up by GCHQ there are photos of children, and surely – given the scale of it – of children in their bedrooms. Yet where is the outcry?This latest discovery from the Snowden files is not simply the next chapter in the story of how every aspect of our online lives has been monitored over recent years. It also blows apart the standard defence used so far that only metadata – who called who when, but not the content – has been gathered up and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 28 Comments

The right to privacy: “in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?”

With news today of yet further alleged intrusion into private citizens’ communications — GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications (Guardian) — here’s how The West Wing anticipated the past week’s furore…

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Julian Huppert MP writes: promoting innovative science and technology, safeguarding NHS data for research

Science and research are absolutely key to our economy, both now and in the future. That’s why I and others have been pressing the Coalition Government to protect the £4.6 billion revenue budget for science and research programs. And we’ve managed more; since January, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has announced £495 million of investment in capital projects to maximize our research capacity.

This funding is extremely welcome. But it is how this money is spent – not just how many millions are pumped into the economy – which will determine whether the economy recovers and whether we will be …

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Nick’s privacy pledge: only the Lib Dems will “bring an end to the endless snooping on innocent people”

Nick Clegg will be speaking tonight at the 20th annivesary celebrations of human rights group, Privacy International, and will stress the importance of this coming general election as an opportunity to win back privacy.

Here are some extracts from his speech:

Labour has spent 13 years trampling over people’s privacy. From allowing children’s fingerprints to be taken at school without their parents’ consent; to making us a world leader in CCTV; to wasting vast sums of taxpayers’ money on giant databases that hoard our personal details. And now we hear that ministers want pensioners to swap their bus passes for ID cards.

“The Government’s staggering record on losing private data – leaving it in pub car parks and on commuter trains – just makes matters worse.

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The Independent View: How do we stop the growth of the surveillance state?

From any dispassionate view, it’s clear that the Liberal Democrats have consistently believed that the protection of our right to privacy is vital for a free and open society.

However, protecting that fragile right is a complex process that requires genuine and tangible policy objectives that will make a real difference. To reverse the rise of surveillance is a task that goes to the heart of how we are governed. Making a real difference will require a courageous agenda of change that reaches deep into the powerful institutions of parliament and government.

There is no doubt in the …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Tom Brake MP writes… Google Streetview and British citizens’ privacy

The traditional privacies and anonymities enjoyed by people in this country come under greater pressure every day. Google Streetview is the latest point at which private interests come into conflict with technological advance. I remain concerned that this service, which places comprehensive, zoomable and rotatable photographs of Britain’s streets freely on the internet, has not come under enough scrutiny from those who are supposed to safeguard our individual liberties.

The Liberal Democrats have been absolutely unequivocal in their criticisms of the expansion of state surveillance, arguing that having CCTV on every corner is invasive and unnecessary. I simply don’t think that …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Tom tries to put the Brake on Google Street View

As today’s Times reports:

Google’s Street View service got off to a bumpy start in the UK as privacy campaigners tried to block Google’s car-mounted cameras from photographing Britain’s streets. Now, Google is heading off the beaten track.

The internet company has loaded its 3-D Street View cameras on to rickshaw-style tricycles in an effort to capture national landmarks, monuments and sights that cannot be viewed from a car.

The pictures will form part of Street View, a mapping service from Google that gives 360-degree views of the country’s biggest cities, allowing people to take virtual tours from their computers or mobile phones.

However Lib Dem MP tom Brake is less-than-impressed:

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 9 Comments
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