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Building a Global Privacy Movement

We are building the global movement for the protection of privacy. This is particularly important in the Global South, where the laws safeguarding privacy are still being written, and we have the potential to provide a template for better protection of privacy for people everywhere. Privacy International is working with and equipping advocates worldwide to engage in this essential fight.

Since 1990 our strategy has been to build a global movement through working with others. We have worked with a wide variety of people - from leading civil society institutions to emerging activists, international organisations to advocates, policy-makers to refugees.

Over the past ten years Privacy International has supported organisations to build an innovative global network of leaders on privacy. We have developed resources for dozens of organisations across the Global South to expand their capabilities to advocate for effective privacy protections.

We do this because the fight for privacy is truly a global one. Innovations in technology, data protection policy and governance of surveillance are rapidly being deployed and tested in the Global South.

Surveillance innovations and data exploitation may have been born in wealthier countries, or tested by powerful authoritarian regimes, but governments in the Global South are now the ones driving these radical changes. While many of these innovations are becoming synonymous with progress, prosperity and development, there are numerous hazardous implications for privacy and other human rights.

Our work over the years has uncovered how many governments in the Global South are conducting surveillance without strong legal frameworks to protect privacy, freedom of expression and the right to protest, and many other human rights. We need to further understand how systems implemented for government administration or other innovations in the private sectors may lead to unfair targeting, disenfranchising of whole groups and social exclusion.

Whilst these developments are occurring across the world, the implications and consequences are much more acute in countries where good governance and rule of law is weak or non-existent. Too often these countries lack the legal, political and social infrastructure to enforce needed protections. This affects more so those living on the margins of societies.

People should have a role in deciding how their data is processed, exerting control over their information and their lives. Privacy is about autonomy and protecting human dignity, no matter where you live or your economic circumstances. As a result, at PI and with our partners, we take a multi-disciplinary people-centred approach in developing evidence-based principles and standards for privacy.

Privacy International provides the resources to build the global movement. We are leading research and investigations into trends and surveillance systems in countries across the world, to push and inform local, regional and international debates. We are working with our partners to develop advocacy strategies that push for much needed policy changes. We are advocating for the right to privacy to represent the interests of all people across the world.