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Privacy International (PI) is one of the world's oldest privacy organisations, and has been instrumental in establishing the modern international privacy movement. The organisation was formed in 1990 as a privacy, human rights and civil liberties watchdog. PI has organised campaigns and initiatives in more than fifty countries and is based in London with an office in Washington DC.
In 1990, in response to a growing number of privacy threats, more than a hundred leading privacy experts and Human Rights organizations from forty countries linked arms to form a world organization for the protection of privacy. Members of the new body, including computer professionals, academics, lawyers, journalists, jurists and human rights activists, had a common interest in promoting an international understanding of the importance of privacy and data protection. Meetings of the group, which took the name Privacy International, were held throughout that year in North America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, and members agreed to work toward the establishment of effective privacy protection throughout the world.
The formation of Privacy International was the first successful attempt to establish a structured world focus on this emereging area of human rights. It evolved as an independent, non-government organization with the primary role of advocacy and support. It has an international advisory board with members from over 30 countries, and a board of trustees who oversee a team of research and policy staff.
Campaigns, Networking, and Research
Privacy International has been most prominent in North America, Europe and Asia, where it has liaised with local human rights organisations to raise awareness about the development of national surveillance systems.
The network has also been used by law reform and human rights organisations in more than twenty countries to assist local privacy issues. In Thailand and the Philippines, for example, Privacy International worked with local human rights bodies to develop national campaigns against the establishment of government identity card systems. In Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Hungary, Australia and the United Kingdom it has promoted privacy issues through national media and through public campaigns. In Central and Eastern Europe, PI has been active in promoting government accountability through freedom of information acts.
PI also monitors the activities of international organizations, including the European Union, the Council of Europe, and UN agencies. It has conducted numerous studies and reports, and provides expert commentary on contemporary policy and technology issues.
Structure and Finances
Privacy International has received funding and support from a range of Foundations, academic establishments and non-government organisations. These include the Soros Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, The Fund for Constitutional Government, the Stern Foundation, the Privacy Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, and the University of New South Wales (Sydney). The organisation is also minimally financed through contributions. Privacy International an independent non-profit organization chartered in the UK. Its US organization is administered through the Fund for Constitutional Government in Washington DC.
Privacy International London Headquarters 6-8, Amwell Street London EC1R 1UQ United Kingdom
07947 778247 (from UK) +44-7947 778247 (outside UK)
Privacy International Washington Office 1718 Connecticut Ave, NW Suite 200 Washington, DC 20009 USA
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