Justice Beat: victims’ rights, online privacy, and criminal concerns


The CrowdJustice Team

posted on 08 Feb 2019

8th February 2019

A big week for victims of crime and protesters, as well as Facebook users and their privacy online. The Justice Beat gives you the scoop on why these groups are in the news. But first...

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Victims vindicated

1. A furious backlash at the prospect of the Black Cab Rapist John Worboys being released from prison has resulted in new rights for victims of violent crime, the Express reports. The Justice Secretary David Gauke is proposing a new policy allowing victims to challenge Parole Board decisions they believe to be fundamentally flawed. Worboys' victims raised over £66,000 on CrowdJustice.

Privacy and transparency

2. Working hard to show that it values people’s privacy, Facebook has devised a way for users to see which brands have paid for advertisements, Techcrunch reports. The new tool will enable users to understand why they have been targeted with ads and when users’ contact information has been shared with partners.

3. Meanwhile, Facebook faces further restrictions in Germany, the New York Times reports. Competition authorities have ruled that Facebook cannot link data collected on other services, like WhatsApp and Instagram, to Facebook accounts unless a user has expressly consented. Is this the beginning of wider clamp down on social media giants? Time will tell.

Criminal concerns

4. Will criminal sanctions imposed the Stansted 15 discourage protest? Some commentators are concerned that it will, according to the Independent. Although the Stansted 15 avoided jail time, and were instead given suspended sentences and community service orders, there's a worry that their convictions for terrorism-related offences might inhibit protest.

5. Meanwhile, civil liberties groups are seriously concerned about the use of artificial intelligence to predict the commission of crimes, the Guardian reports. Campaigners at Liberty found that at least 14 police forces in England and Wales are already using big data and machine learning to predict crimes in particular areas, and some are attempting to use the same technology to predict the likelihood of criminals reoffending.

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This week on CrowdJustice, the Belfast Agreement Defence Group is raising funds for a judicial review of the Irish backstop in the Prime Minister’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, a family is raising funds to fight for a fair price for their home, which is subject to compulsory purchase as part of the HS2 development, and a young woman is raising funds to bring a legal challenge to strict abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

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