No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
We are a London-based charity. We investigate the secret world of government surveillance and expose the companies enabling it. We litigate to ensure that surveillance is consistent with the rule of law. We advocate for strong national, regional, and international laws that protect privacy. We conduct research to catalyse policy change. We raise awareness about technologies and laws that place privacy at risk, to ensure that the public is informed and engaged. To ensure that this right is universally respected, we strengthen the capacity of our partners in developing countries and work with international organisations to protect the most vulnerable.
Privacy enables us to create barriers and manage boundaries to protect ourselves from interferences in our lives. Privacy helps us limit who has access to our bodies, places and things, as well as our communications and our information. It's the right to know that your personal communications, medical records, metadata and bank details are secure, but it is also about ensuring that they are under your control. Privacy is essential to human dignity and autonomy in all societies. Privacy is at the cross-section of technology and human rights. The right to privacy is a qualified fundamental human right - meaning that if someone wants to take it away from you, they need to have a damn good reason for doing so.
Technologies are enabling new forms of empowerment and interaction as we integrate them into our lives. They may also enable powerful institutions to amass our personal information. The threat of terrorism is giving governments across the world carte blanche to ramp up state surveillance. Industry is voracious in its appetite to profile us, predict what we will do, and profit from our data. We believe that technological developments should strengthen, rather than undermine, the right to a private life, and that everyone’s privacy must be carefully safeguarded, regardless of nationality, gender, race or ethnicity, personal or economic status.