Impact story

Privacy International: The right to privacy

By Luminate
2 min read

Used responsibly, data has the potential to empower citizens and develop communities around the world. It also presents complex challenges regarding the way it is collected and handled.

From government mass-surveillance programmes and intelligence-sharing between governments, through to corporate data exploitation and companies selling spyware to repressive regimes, the risks to our data, our security, and our freedom are ever present. Personal privacy is the cornerstone of so many of our other rights, such as the right to free speech.

This is what Privacy International stands for. They investigate the secret world of government and corporate surveillance, litigating when necessary to ensure that data collection, storage, and sharing are ethical and legal. They also advocate for strong national, regional, and international laws that protect privacy.

Luminate has supported Privacy International since 2014. In 2016, we provided them with $2.2 million to fund technology development, advocacy campaigns, and legal programmes.

Privacy International investigate the secret world of government and corporate surveillance, litigating when necessary to ensure that data collection, storage, and sharing are ethical and legal.

Based in London, Privacy International is committed to building a global movement and has developed partnerships with organisations in 20 countries across Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Together, they aim to ensure privacy is consistently considered in the development of legal, technological, and policy frameworks.

The organisation and its partners work to achieve this aim through a combination of civil society capacity building, reform plans for specific jurisdictions, responding to data threats and opportunities, and leveraging global bodies including the UN Human Rights Council. In parallel to this, Privacy International runs public campaigns to raise awareness of how personal data is collected and used – and what the risks of this are. 

Ensuring that state surveillance complies with human rights standards is one of Privacy International’s key priorities. To achieve this, it continues to shine a light on the surveillance technologies industry, and seeks to strengthen the rule of law by challenging disproportionate state surveillance in court.  

Rigorous and collaborative, Privacy International is fighting for the right to privacy for everyone, everywhere. Recent successful battles include exposing the use of illegal surveillance equipment by the Ugandan government and tightening EU regulations for surveillance technology manufacturers exporting to repressive regimes.