Foxglove (campaigning organisation)

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Foxglove
Formation2019
FoundersMartha Dark, Cori Crider [1]
TypeIGO, International nongovernmental organization
Purpose"We stand up to the tech giants and governments, and stand up for a future where technology is used to benefit everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
Location
  • United Kingdom
Official language
English
Key people
Martha Dark
Websitehttps://www.foxglove.org.uk/

'Foxglove is a nonprofit limited company based in London.[1] The founders are listed as co-directors Martha Dark and Cori Crider and the organisation is registered as a community interest company called “Foxglove Legal” [2]. The organisation lists its funders as the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Luminate, Unbound, The Baring Foundation, Open Society Foundation, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It describes itself as “a team of lawyers, technology experts, and communications specialists” and its mission as to “stand up to the tech giants and governments, and stand up for a future where technology is used to benefit everyone, not just the rich and powerful”.[1]

Personnel

Martha Dark is listed as founder and co-director, and previously worked at Open Rights Group and Reprieve, and “directs organisational operations”. Cori Crider is listed as founder and co-director, she is a lawyer and previously worked at Reprieve, and “directs and leads our casework”. Fatou Kane is listed as consultant accountant. David Babbs is listed as a consultant “responsible for our public communications”, and previously founded 38 Degrees.[1]

Judicial Review of Home Office Visa algorithm

In October 2019 Foxglove and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants launcehd a legal case against the Home Office for using a “visa algorithm” to decide visa applications. Cori Crider claimed that the system was “speedy boarding for white people”. [3] On 4 August 2020 the Home Office announced that the algorithm would be dropped.[4][5]

A-level Algorithm

Foxglove supported a legal challenge by an A-level student affected by the 2020 UK GCSE and A-Level grading controversy, where results were to be determined by a controversial grading algorithm.[6][7]

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson subsequently announced that the algorithm would be dropped in favour of a system relying on predicted grades issued by teachers.[8]

NHS database contract

Foxglove worked with Open Democracy on a legal challenge demanding disclosure of more information about contracts between the NHS and various commercial companies to deliver a coronavirus database.[9] Details of the contracts were subsequently disclosed.[10]

Facebook moderators

Foxglove is supporting a legal challenge from Facebook content moderators in Ireland, who are claiming that they were poorly treated and suffered psychological harm whilst working there. Cori Crider said “The reason we’ve got involved is that we think that social media factory floors are unsafe and need to be cleared up. In a decade we’re going to look back on this as we did at meat packing plants at the turn of the century.” [11]

Legal action against YouTube over targeted advertising to children

Foxglove is supporting a legal challenge against YouTube, which claims that its platform has breached the GDPR by using the data of children under 13 in order to serve targeted adverts. The claim is also being supported by commercial law firm Hausfeld LLP. Cori Crider was quoted as saying “The cost of YouTube’s free services is kids addicted, influenced and with no privacy. Google won’t clean up its act until it is forced to do so by the courts."[12][13] It has been suggested that if successful the case could leave YouTube with a $3billion compensation bill. [14]

See also

  • Internet censorship in the United Kingdom
  • Civil liberties in the United Kingdom

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "About". 19 Nov 2020.
  2. "Companies House". 20 Nov 2020.
  3. "AI system for granting UK visas is biased, rights groups claim". the Guardian. October 29, 2019.
  4. "Home Office drops 'racist' algorithm from visa decisions". August 4, 2020 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  5. "Home Office to scrap algorithm which secretly assigns 'risk score' to some nationalities by design". inews.co.uk. August 4, 2020.
  6. Busby, Mattha (2020-08-16). "A-level student launches legal bid against Ofqual". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  7. "Angry students launch legal challenge to exam results and call for Gavin Williamson to resign". inews.co.uk. 2020-08-16. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  8. "A-level results U-turn: Students relieved and annoyed". August 17, 2020 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  9. "We need urgent answers about the massive NHS COVID data deal". openDemocracy.
  10. "Government finally publishes NHS contracts with Palantir, Faculty and big tech". June 5, 2020.
  11. Hern, Alex (December 4, 2019). "Ex-Facebook worker claims disturbing content led to PTSD" – via www.theguardian.com.
  12. "YouTube faces £2.5bn legal battle for 'breaching privacy of Brit kids'". The Sun. September 13, 2020.
  13. "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". www.ft.com.
  14. "YouTube hit with UK class action style suit seeking $3BN+ for 'unlawful' use of kids' data".

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