The Open Rights Group posted a blog article related to the Online Safety Bill about Project Alpha, the Metropolitan Police initiative to disrupt gang violence by monitoring what young people post on social media. The ORG is concerned about racial profiling and privacy, especially considering the Met admitted mistakes in history with its Gangs Violence Matrix over the project's original protection impact assessment (DPIA) and its history with earlier schemes such as the Gangs Violence Matrix. ORG also worry about innovations like Pre-crime detection and common law principles like Joint Enterprise, where someone can be found guilty of an offence if the court rules they should have foreseen it happening. Ominous times. The Guardian also highlighted how Met's Project Alpha was profiling children's data on a large scale back in June.
In related news, the Evening Standard (£) reports a human rights lawyer claims that the Online Safety Bill needs a complete rewrite. Rather than focusing on platforms' “algorithmic systems and design features,” it's too focused on policing types of content. In its current form, it “not only threatens free speech, freedom of expression and privacy but fails to do enough to tackle the real drivers of online harm." The article is also published with no paywall in the Express & Star.
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