What is the problem?

The proliferation of both surveillance technologies and companies that develop or use them have provided governments with a plethora of opportunities to secretly collaborate with private actors and exploit us. At the same time, these collaborations provide companies with more opportunities to monetise our data.

Surveillance outsourcing often seeks to exacerbate governments' already unnecessary intrusions upon our everyday lives and undermine our fundamental freedoms. It does so by blurring the lines between private and public spaces as well as by normalising surveillance.

From the NHS collaborating with Palantir in the UK to Amazon working with police forces round the world to distribute Ring video doorbells to Huawei reportedly helping intelligence officials in Uganda to curtail civil dissent and peaceful assembly - public-partnerships are creeping in to ever more aspects of our lives.

PI questions whether these partnerships are able to adhere to strict transparency and due process standards. Entrusting companies with policing our communities ultimately means more abuse, discrimination and inequality, undermining democracy.

What is the solution?

What most of the partnerships mentioned above have in common is a lack of transparency underpinning them.

The last thing we want, by entrusting companies with these intrusive tools, is creating one more reality full of exploitation and abuse. And, similar to governments failing to adhere to their transparency and accountability obligations, companies are often hiding behind confidentiality and trade secret exceptions to refuse to provide us with information about their data practices, for example.

The minimum we should expect is for governments and companies to adhere to their existing standards and obligations.

What is PI doing?

We research and expose the relationships between governments and private companies with our partners all over the world

We push back against companies who's partnerships and business practices threaten our privacy.

We fight for government transparency and safeguards on public-private surveillance partnerships.

We work to unmask police colloborations with surveillance companies.

We provide resources - including on freedom of information and data protection to help people to unmask any collaboration that seek to exploit our freedoms under the cloak of defending them

Together with our global network, we advocate to protect the right to privacy, autonomy, and dignity.