Yes To Redress!

How can we make it easier for people to seek redress in the digital world?

Why say Yes to Redress!?

Doteveryone cares about redress for a number of reasons.

What are the current problems with redress in the UK?

On 5 December 2018, the DCMS Committee released the first wave of documents seized from app developer Six4Three relating to their ongoing legal dispute with Facebook. The documents offer an intimate insight into Facebook’s corporate culture. They raise questions about their aggressive approach to competitors and the opacity of how they communicate their data use practices to the public.

  • Large companies lack incentives to support users and consumers. Light-touch regulation and the complexities of setting up systems that don’t become swamped by massive user-bases mean many are simply avoiding the issue.
  • Products are designed to “maximise engagement, which is a polite word for addiction”. And some areas of the digital economy — like online gaming — are particularly lacking in consumer protections and design.
  • Rating systems for online marketplaces could be better. Many are easily gamed, and when average rating scores are universally high it’s difficult for the public to differentiate between services.
  • Initiatives which provides users with information on their personal engagement with digital services and platforms only give the illusion of control. Tools such as screen-time reporting are “like locking an alcoholic in a cupboard full of alcohol where they can count the bottles they’ve consumed”
  • The courts are unable to offer the public the level of protection they need against digital harms with a legal system that is prohibitively expensive for most, and a police-force swamped by growing caseloads of more serious crimes.
  • There are examples of good redress systems and regulation out there— like payday lending — and we have templates to learn from when thinking about redress in the digital world.
  • Several civil society groups and consumer advocacy groups are doing excellent work in this area. We have an opportunity to build a strong coalition behind better redress! 💪

So what happens now?

The next Yes to Redress! meet-up will be 18.30–20.00, Wednesday 6 February where we’ll be asking: what does “good” redress look like?