Samaritans Radar: Response to Samaritans' 4 November statement
The Samaritans’ statement this evening entirely fails to address the concerns of people who want Samaritans Radar to close.
It’s clear that the people the Samaritans have been listening to most in the last few days are their lawyers.
If the Samaritans are to be believed, the Samaritans Radar app:
- creates no new personal data that isn’t already public (almost certainly impossible)
- is not controlled by the Samaritans (so who does control it?)
- does something so important that it trumps all other data protection concerns (srsly?).
I look forward to these claims being examined in court.
But the concerns about Samaritans Radar are far broader than its dubious legality.
The Samaritans have literally nothing to say about the numerous people with mental health problems, and otherwise, who are saying that Samaritans Radar has caused them to change the way that they use Twitter or leave it entirely. The #SamaritansRadar hashtag and the comments on the petition are full of people saying that they are being driven away from Twitter. This separates people from their friends and communities of support online and puts already vulnerable people further at risk. After a week of criticism on this issue the Samaritans still have no response.
Samaritans Radar has caused real people real harm and will continue to do so every hour until it is closed. Nothing in today’s statement suggests that the Samaritans understand this problem, let alone have the empathy or courage to address it.
I will continue to campaign until Samaritans Radar is closed, as I’m sure will the thousands of people online who are doing likewise. Please sign our petition if you support us.