Data and Democracy
Digital Privacy
Online Censorship & the Role of Algorithms

13 July 2019

Friends House • 173-177 Euston Rd • London • NW1 2BJ

ORGCon is the UK’s largest human and digital rights conference.

Back for a 6th time on 13 July 2019, this year will be better than ever.

ORGCon is hosted by Open Rights Group. We challenge the government’s mass surveillance programme, protect free expression online, and push for better digital privacy protections.

Join us for a day of discussions, debates and action. Hear some of the world’s leading experts on data and democracy, free expression and digital privacy. Hear Edward Snowden, former intelligence officer in cybersecurity for the NSA, CIA and DIA and whistle-blower talk about mass government surveillance.

Join the movement to protect your rights online.
Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket



Photo Credit: Laura Poitras / ACLU
Edward Snowden is a former intelligence officer who served the CIA, NSA, and DIA for nearly a decade as subject matter expert on technology and cybersecurity. In 2013, he revealed that the NSA was seizing the private records of billions of individuals who had not been suspected of any wrongdoing, resulting in the most significant reforms to US surveillance policy since 1978. He has received awards for courage, integrity, and public service, and was named the top global thinker of 2013 by Foreign Policy magazine. Today he works on methods of enforcing human rights through the application and development of new technologies. He joined the board of Freedom of the Press Foundation in February 2014.


Ravi Naik, the Law Society’s 2018 Human Rights Lawyer of the Year, is a multi-award winning solicitor,with a ground breaking practice at the forefront of data rights and technology. Ravi represents clients insome of the most high profile data rights cases.
These include the case against Cambridge Analytica for political profiling, claims against Facebook for their privacy policies and data practices, challenges to financial profiling companies and the leading regulatory complaint against the Advertising Technology industry.

Ravi is a well-known advocate and speaker on developing rights in technology and has written extensively on the new data rights movement. Ravi is also often sought for his commentary in the media on a range of data rights issues.


Cori Crider’s current work deals with controversies around the uses of mass data—processes sometimes referred to as artificial intelligence. She previously led Reprieve’s abuses in counter terrorism team, where she focused on extralegal detention, torture, and surveillance-led targeting.
Some of Cori's clients lost loved ones in drone strikes because of poor intelligence in targeting algorithms. Others were illegally spied on because surveillance programs weren't narrowly tailored.

Today 'big data'—and the increasingly automated processes we use to winnow that data down—shape who is hired and fired; who is arrested or paroled; and who is suspected of terrorism, or even targeted in a lethal attack. Cori investigates these uses of our data and how we as citizens make these systems accountable to us.


Noel Sharkey is Emeritus Professor of AI and Robotics University of Sheffield, co-director of the Foundation for Responsible and chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control and has worked in AI / robotics / machine learning and related for 4 decades.
His research since 2007 has focused on ethical / legal / human rights issues in AI and robotic in areas such as military, child care, elder care,policing, autonomous transport, robot crime, medicine / surgery, border control, sex, civil surveillance and algorithmic gender and race bias. He conducts advocacy at the UN and European Parliaments.


Nighat Dad is a Pakistani lawyer and Internet activist who runs the Non Profit Organisation Digital Rights Foundation, a research and advocacy NGO that protects women and minorities from cyber harassment and defends their online freedom of expression. She is among the pioneers who started lobbying for Internet freedom in Pakistan. Her actual focus is ICTs to support Human Rights, democratic processes and Digital Governance.
Her work in the field of Digital Rights has earned her many international awards. In 2015, she was named in the TIME magazine’s rundown of cutting edge pioneers, for helping Pakistani women battle online provocation. She also was granted the Atlantic Council Digital Freedom Award and Dutch government’s Human Rights Tulip grant. Nighat is also a Ted fellow since 2016 and selected as World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2018.


David Kaye is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.


Jack Poulson is a computational mathematician focused on public accountability mechanisms in the tech industry. He was previously applied mathematics faculty at Stanford and a Senior Research Scientist in Google's Research and Machine Intelligence division -- now called Google AI -- a role he publicly resigned over Google's planned censorship and surveillance of dissent and human rights information via Project Dragonfly.
He is continuing to foster public accountability in tech through his role as Founder of Tech Inquiry.


Silkie is the Director of UK civil liberties and privacy NGO, Big Brother Watch. Previously, she was the Senior Advocacy Officer at Liberty where she led a programme on Technology and Human Rights and launched a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act. She previously worked for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund and whistleblowers at risk.
She is a passionate campaigner for the protection of liberties, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies. She has worked to uphold rights in the fields of state surveillance, policing technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and free expression online. Silkie is also an information security trainer and organises Cryptoparty London. She is the co-author of Information Security for Journalists.


Areeq Chowdhury is the founder of the think tank WebRoots Democracy which explores the intersection of technology and democratic participation. In particular it focuses on online voting in elections as well as the regulation of social media platforms.
Areeq was born and brought up in Manchester and studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Birmingham where he began researching the relationship between the internet and political participation.

After graduating in 2013, he moved to London and has worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the London Assembly, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, KPMG, and the UK Parliament."


Steve took up the position of Deputy Commissioner in June 2017. A member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for leading the work of the Policy Directorate, ensuring delivery of ICO strategic goals through stakeholder liaison, guidance, research and international activity.
Prior to this appointment, Steve was Head of International Strategy and Intelligence, responsible for overseeing the ICO’s international strategy, the ICO’s intelligence hub and management of high profile cases.  At the ICO he has also held the roles of Head of Policy Delivery and Assistant Commissioner for FOI Policy.

Before joining the ICO Steve was a Senior Lecturer in Information Management at Liverpool John Moores University.


Louise has been involved in the usability of statutory elections for two decades. She organised the first group of official election observers in the UK. She has advised the UK Electoral Commission, and has spoken at international conferences addressing usability and accessibility of the electoral ecosystem. Louise holds a Master's degree in human-centred computer systems.


Amy is Open Rights Group’s Legal and Policy Officer. Amy’s work focuses on digital rights issues in the context of Brexit, online free expression and the AdTech industry.

Amy has previously worked on a range of UK, EU and International legal and policy issues, including prisoner rights, child sex trafficking and freedom of religion or belief (FORB).
She has written widely for online legal journals and blogs, with a particular interest in freedom of expression. She holds a degree in Law from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Public International Law (Human Rights) from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands.

and more...

We've got some other great speakers lined up. Announcements will be made here soon.
Book Tickets


13 July 2019
Friends House
173-177 Euston Rd


Keynote Sponsor

Premium Sponsors

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of ORGCon 2019 we would love to hear from you. Please email:

Action Space

Internet of Things - Design

The Internet of Things presents challenges to our digital privacy. ORGCon 2019 will host the final stage of a design challenge competition as part of the VIRT-EU consortium project of which Open Rights Group is a partner.

Designers and technology experts will come together to play with tools created by the consortium to improve how ethics and data protection are incorporated in the design of Internet of Things devices. The finalists of the design challenge will be presenting their projects. Join us to get a behind the scenes insight into the privacy, ethics and design considerations concerning the Internet of Things. Find out more here.

Tactical Tech Digital Security Workshops

Digital tools - including mobile phones and the internet - offer new freedoms and means of communication and coordination, but they also bring new challenges.

Since 2005, Tactical Technology Collective have been working with Front Line Defenders to help advocates, independent activists and journalists understand their digital security and privacy risks and manage their vulnerabilities. Find out more here.

Crypto bar

Reclaim your rights online! Come to this drop-in bar for free, beginner-friendly 1:1 advice about how to protect your communications and internet use from pervasive surveillance, data exploitation and censorship.

Machine Ethics Podcast

The Machine Ethics Podcast: Interrogating technology, artificial intelligence and autonomy. Will be recording at ORGCon 2019! The podcast brings together interviews with academics, authors, business leaders, creatives and engineers on the subject of autonomous algorithms, artificial intelligence / machine learning, and more. Find out more about the Machine Ethics Podcast here.

The Glass Room

What is personal data in an age when our data is everything but personal? Our websites, apps, social media and 'smart' devices all thrive on the same thing that makes tech companies billions – data. Not just any data, but our data.

In 2030 there will be an estimated 125 billion connected devices – 14 for each person. That’s a lot of smart toothbrushes. Will all these new technologies really make our lives more efficient, healthier and safer?

The Glass Room Experience is an exhibition exploring the companies and mechanisms that make our everyday technologies and connect the Internet of Things (IoT). Find out more about The Glass Room here.


ORGCon 2019 will showcase exhibits, art and installations demonstrating the impacts of technology on our lives.

Techish Live Podcast Recording

You can find out more about techish here.

Who Targets Me live demonstration

Find out more about Who Targets Me here.
Our full programme is coming soon, watch this space...
Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket


What is ORGCon?

ORGCon is the UK's biggest digital and human rights event. High profile writers, speakers and activists give their insights into the big issues affecting civil liberties and the Internet. It's also a place for Open Rights Group members, activists and anyone who is interested in human rights and technology to come together to participate in great discussions and sessions. There are four thematic focuses for the event this year, they are: digital privacy, censorship & the role of algorithms, mass surveillance, and data & democracy.

What can I expect?

ORGCon is where friendships are forged, where we all learn from each other and amazing conversations are had about how we can all make the Internet and the world a better place. ORGCon will have speakers, panels, discussions, debates, art installations, design challenges, podcast recordings, workshops and lightning talks.

Where can I buy tickets?

Book Tickets Here. There are discounted tickets for Open Rights Group members (those who give a regular donation), and free tickets are available to new members who sign up during the next two months. Please join us!

Will there be food and refreshments?

There is a cafe serving teas, coffees and food. You can also bring your own snacks and water. There are many other cafes and restaurants near Friends House.

What is the access like?

Full details on accessibility are on the Friends House Website. Information about access to buses, tubes, rail links and taxis is available from The website also provides useful information about accessibility in London, for potential hotels, restaurants and other places to visit whilst you are in London.

Is there a safe-space policy?

Open Rights Group is dedicated to creating an environment at ORGCon where people with an interest in digital rights can come together, learn from each other, and contribute their skills, ideas and energy. All attendees agree to abide by the anti-harassment policy. We reserve the right to refuse entry.

Can I photograph/ film the event?

You are welcome to photograph and share the event. We love to see people capturing all the exciting stuff happening at ORGCon. However, if you are photographing people, please ask permission of the person you're photographing beforehand and respect their wishes. If you'd like to share your photographs with us after the event please tag them as ORGCon2019 on Flickr, or let us know about them. We love to see your perspective on the event! If you'd like to film ORGCon, please let us know if advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

How can I get a press pass?

Please email with your name, your news organisation, whether you'll be recording or taking photographs, and your particular areas of interest. If you're interested in interviewing specific guests, or filming the event, please let us know about that as well and we'll see what we can arrange.

Can I help out?

Absolutely. We'd love to have your help, whether you can volunteer with ticketing, filming sessions or tech support. If you can help out on the day, please let us know, by emailing and giving your name and where you'd like to help out.

I haven't got my free ticket after joining ORG, can you help?

If you recently became a member of ORG and have lost the details of how to register for a free ticket, or haven't received them. Please email and we will look into it for you.

Can I sponsor the event?

Yes we would be delighted to hear from you. If you are interested in sponsoring ORGCon 2019 please email

What is the ORG anti-harassment policy?

Open Rights Group is dedicated to creating an environment where people with an interest in our  issues and work can come together, learn from each other, and contribute their skills, ideas and energy. Everyone is entitled to enjoy a respectful and inclusive environment. We will not tolerate harassment behaviour that detracts from that goal. We prioritise the creation of an inclusive work environment and this extends to and includes events we hold.

Who does this policy apply to?

We expect everyone at an ORG venue or participating in the event to adhere to the spirit and the letter of this policy. That includes attendees, speakers, workshop facilitators, panel guests, staff, exhibitors, press, photographers, videographers, bloggers, volunteers, sponsors, our venue hosts and the security team.

How to help create pleasant and safe environment

  • Be aware of the kind of environment you are creating around you with your speech, actions and behaviour.
  • Read and abide by this harassment policy.
  • Support other event attendees - if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they're okay.
  • Report incidents of harassment to ORG staff or volunteers immediately.
  • Be excellent to each other - and party on!

What is harassment?

  • Offensive verbal comments, including about gender, gender identity and expression, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race, religion or political affiliation.
  • Showing sexual images in public spaces.
  • Intimidation, stalking or following.
  • Photographing or recording someone without their permission.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Uninvited physical contact.
  • Uninvited sexual attention.
  • Any other unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an interrogating, degrading, hostile, offensive or humiliating environment for the person in question.

This list is not exhaustive.

What to do if you experience or witness harassment?

If you experience harassment, are not comfortable confronting a harasser, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an ORG volunteer or a member of the event staff as soon as possible.

In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say “no” or “please leave me alone”, or walk away. We would appreciate it if a member of staff were still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.

How will ORG respond to reports of harassment?

Volunteers and Open Rights Group staff are the most visible first-line of support for those who experience harassment. They'll note down the details of what has happened, and make sure it is  reported to Open Rights Group management as soon as  possible.

Event staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event staff may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expelling them from the conference, with no refund.

Incidents of harassment during an event will be recorded and shared between event staff and volunteers. This is so we can spot and challenge patterns of unwanted behaviour or repeat offenders.

After the event, all reported incidents of harassment will be reviewed by the Open Rights Group Board. Details of incidents that were resolved satisfactorily, did not recur, or were minor will be discarded. Details of repeat or serious transgressions may be retained by Open Rights Group for as long as the Board deems them relevant and used to restrict admission by those responsible to future Open Rights Group events.

We hope this strikes the right balance between our strong privacy and data protection principles and our desire to prevent harassment at our events.

Why do we have this policy?

We want everyone here to have a great time and we won't tolerate behaviour that detracts from that goal. Spelling out exactly what we expect and deserve in our behaviour towards one another helps to reduce harassment and gives us a framework within which to respond should anyone's behaviour fall short. We want people to feel comfortable at our event and to be confident that we will act to protect the fun and inclusive atmosphere we want everyone to experience.

Do you have any further questions about the event?

If your question isn't here, and you want to know more, please email

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket

Who Are ORG?

Open Rights Group challenges mass government surveillance, protects free expression online and the right to privacy online.

We campaign, lobby, talk to the media, go to court — whatever it takes to build and support a movement for freedom in the digital age.  We are funded by thousands of people like you. We are based in London, United Kingdom.

Open Rights is a non-profit company limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales no. 05581537.