2019 Programme

Doors open for registration from 9-10am.

Main Stage

10:00 - 10:10
Welcome from ORG

Welcome from ORG's Executive Director Jim Killock and Martha Dark ORG's Chief Operating Officer

10.10- 11.00
Keynote followed by live Q&A: The Future of Surveillance with Edward Snowden

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency 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.

Joining ORGCon via remote link, Edward will discuss the future of government surveillance and the UK’s role in it.

11.10 - 11.50
The Personal is the Political: How your data defines your political ads

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal became public in 2017, the debate on the ethics and lawfulness of political advertising online has rarely been out of the spotlight. But what is political micro targeting, how does it use our data? Does it actually work? How are those running campaigns being held to account? This panel brings together key voices in the debate from regulation, law and academia to discuss the way forward to secure trust and integrity in the democratic process. Join Reema Patel from the Ada Lovelace Institute, Ravi Naik Partner at ITN Solicitors, Rose Acton from Demos and Steve Wood, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Information Commissioner’s Office.

11:55 - 12:45
UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, David Kaye and Barrister Jennifer Robinson in conversation

In April this year, the UK government unveiled plans to regulate social media. The proposals include placing a duty of care on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to make sure that their users don’t come to harm.

How the UK chooses to address the societal challenges social media presents will impact what the Internet looks like for years to come.

Join Professor David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and author of “Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet”, in conversation with Barrister Jennifer Robinson as they discuss the global landscape of online content regulation, question the harms social media really presents and consider how best to protect fundamental rights in this shifting online world.

12:45 - 13:45

Grab a bite from the Friends House cafe!

13:45 - 14.35
Facial recognition is now a reality in the UK

With trials run by the Metropolitan Police and South Wales, and a legal challenge from Big Brother Watch, the lines are being drawn on this important debate for right to privacy in public spaces. Are we moving towards CCTV cameras as identity checkpoints? What is the next stage in this fight? What is to be learned from the recent banning of the technology in San Francisco? Join Silkie Carlo Director of Big Brother Watch, Dr Suzanne Shale Chair of The London Policing Ethics Panel, Green London Assembly Member Sian Berry and more to discuss the issue.

14:45 - 15.35
Solving the encryption dilemma

Representatives from GCHQ and Facebook will join us to discuss the dilemma of end-to-end encryption in messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.

The technology brings unprecedented privacy for individuals, but can also be misused, leading security and intelligence agencies to request circumvention mechanisms. Is a balance possible? Or even desirable? Find out at what is sure to be an important and informative debate.

15:45 - 16:45
Jack Poulson on censorship

In September 2018, Google research scientist Jack Poulson resigned in protest of the proposed censored search engine Dragonfly, said to be in development in partnership with the Chinese government.

In his resignation letter, Jack told his employer:  “Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”

Jack will be joining us to talk Dragonfly, state censorship and much more.

16:45 - 17:00
Closing talk with Jim Killock

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket

Discussion Space

11.10 - 11.50
Truth, fiction and accountability - How can I trust what I see online?

We live in an era where the flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming. There is an urgent need to give citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive.

The last 12 months has seen the spread of misinformation and disinformation (“fake news”) increase rapidly. The use of Facebook data by Cambridge Analytica led to millions of people being targeted with political ads. “Deepfakes” have been used to shame people and celebrities by transferring someone’s head onto another person’s body using Artificial Intelligence. Often this is done in a sexualised manner.

This has led to many people feeling they can’t trust what they read, hear or see - and young people have been at the forefront of this. Join us for a discussion with four teenage panellists from Teens in AI, moderated by Open Rights Group’s Chair, James Cronin.

12:45 - 13:45

Grab a bite from the Friends House cafe!

13:45 - 14.35
Byte-ing the ballot

Electronic voting has been presented as the path towards improving political participation for under-served communities. But many believe it is open to manipulation. What’s the way forward? Find out in a frank, friendly and democratic debate including Michela Palese from the Electoral Reform Society, Areeq Chowdhury from Webroots Democracy, Open Rights Group’s Louise Ferguson, Ross Anderson from The Foundation for Information Policy Research and Mark Ryan from the University of Birmingham.

14:45 - 15.35
Data in a hostile environment: Fighting the immigration exemption in the Data Protection Act 2018

The Data Protection Act 2018 contained an unprecedented exemption restricting an individual’s right to access data if it would “prejudice” “effective immigration control”. Open Rights Group and EU citizen campaign group the3million have challenged the existence of this exemption and will be arguing the case in front of the High Court of Justice in late July. This panel brings together Open Rights Group, the3million, solicitors Leigh Day, and practitioners in the field of immigration law to understand just how profound this exemption could prove to be, and how important access to data is for those arguing for their right to remain in the country.

15:45 - 16:45
A Safeguarding Dystopia

Child protection is often cited as the core reason for online restrictions such as age verification and content regulation. But how do we really protect children, while keeping the web free? Hear from technology, civil society and academic experts about government proposals affecting children online, and join the discussion on how we can support children to access information and express themselves online in a safe and secure way.

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket

ORG Action Space

11.10 - 14.35
Tactical Tech Digital Security Workshops: The Secret life of your data

This series of new workshops follows your personal data on a journey from your device, through your apps and out into the world of big data, where it is bought, sold, processed and stored by some of the world’s most powerful companies.

Each workshop can be attended on its own but all link to take you on a journey deep into the world of big data. None of these workshops require any technical knowledge, but if you have a mobile phone, please bring it along.

Part 1 11.10 - 11.50 An introduction to your mobile extraction device

How the apps you use everyday are designed to maximise data collection, including dark UX patterns and weaponised design, and how this feeds the global data industry that now arguably drives the global economy.

Part 2 11.55-12.45: Permissions and manifests - How does my data leave my phone?

We cover the terms and conditions that we all agree to and introduce app manifests the hidden agreements between app developers and thePlaystore/iTunes that show what personal data is really being used.

Part 3 13.45 - 14.35: Trackers - How does data move beyond my phone into the world of big data?

In this workshop we explore where your data goes in the vast hidden industry of data brokers, and how that data is increasingly being used to shape our information landscape, our decisions on what to buy and even for whom to vote.

12:45 - 13:45

Grab a bite from the Friends House cafe!

14:45 - 15.35
Live demo: Who Targets Me?

Who Targets Me developed a browser plug-in that allows users to record targeted political ads on Facebook. Before the development of Facebook’s ad library, they led the way in forcing transparency and accountability on this unregulated section of the internet. Discover how they work, what obstacles they have faced, and what you can do to counteract micro-targeted political ads.

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket


A showcase of exhibits, art and installations demonstrating the impacts of technology on our lives.

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.

The Glassroom

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.

Forgot your password books


Big Mother



11.10 - 11.20
Lightning Talk: Personal adverts are everywhere – and so is your data

Dr. Michael Veale (UCL) and Amy Shepherd (Open Rights Group Legal and Policy Officer) talk through the data security issues within the advertising technology (AdTech) industry and share ideas on how we could fix online advertising.

11:30 - 11:45
Lightning Talk: Using tech projects to fight for rights online

Hear from Open Rights Group’s Policy and Research Officer, Ed Johnson-Williams how we are using tech projects to fight for rights online. We’re making privacy policies easier to understand with Data Rights Finder, and with Blocked, we’re challenging problematic web filters in the UK and Europe.

11:55 - 12:15
Lightning Talks: Data visualisation prototype

Henry Prince will take us through his prototype simulation of a fake AI-powered social network newsfeed - working title Big Brother - with its own creepy overbearing AI assistant called bb.

12:30 - 12:45
Lightning Talks: Privacy: Does it really matter

Join Christel Dahlskjaer from ORGCon’s keynote sponsor Private Internet Access to discuss all things privacy.

13:45 - 14:00
Teens in AI

Discover how youths are taking action for a fairer world through activism.

14:15 - 14:30

Paul Palmer, director of consumer product management at F-Secure will talk about age verification and wider privacy issues.

14:45 - 15:00
Index On Censorship

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket

Internet of Things room

11:55 - 12:45
Discuss: Can tech be truly ethical?

Can tech be truly ethical? How can we ensure that technology companies meaningfully integrate ethical thinking into their work, processes and products?

What does it mean to be responsible when it comes to technology? Join our panel, Paul Dourish - University of California, Lilian Edwards - Newcastle University, Ann Light - University of Sussex, Gina Neff - University of Oxford for an enlightening discussion on how tech can do things better.

12:45 - 13:45

Grab a bite from the Friends House cafe!

13:45 - 14:35
Ethics in IoT design

Open Rights Group is part of consortium project called VIRT-EU. This session will see finalists in the project’s Design Challenge present their work. Join Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, an interaction designer, product designer and entrepreneur, Rob van Kranenburg, Founder of Council_IoT and #iotday and Dawn Nafus, senior research scientist at Intel Labs.

The question they asked themselves was: How might connected Internet of Thing systems and products change our lives in the communal home?  The judges will offer reflections on those concepts.

15:45 - 16:45
Panel + Workshop: Power to the user? - Moving your data between Internet of Things devices

The right to data portability in the GDPR guarantees people the ability to move data from one system to another. It is meant to improve consumer choice and encourage competition. The workshop will explore how this under-researched and technically-challenging right can be achieved, particularly in the Internet of Things sector. We will be joined by speakers Dr. Leonie Maria Tanczer, July Galindo Quintero, Jessica Lis, Sarah Turner and Simon Turner.

Book TicketsJoin ORG for FREE Ticket