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Podcast Episode: How private is your bank account?

New technologies are radically advancing our freedoms, but they are also enabling unparalleled invasions of privacy. National and international laws have yet to catch up with the evolving need for privacy that comes with new digital technologies. Respect for individuals' autonomy, anonymous speech, and the right to free association must be balanced against legitimate concerns like law enforcement. EFF fights in the courts and Congress to maintain your privacy rights in the digital world, and works with partners around the globe to support the development of privacy-protecting technologies.

Your cell phone helps you keep in touch with friends and family, but it also makes it easier for the government to track your location.

Your Web searches about sensitive medical information might seem a secret between you and your search engine, but companies like Google are creating a treasure trove of personal information by logging your online activities, and making it potentially available to any party wielding enough cash or a subpoena.

And the next time you try to board a plane, watch out—you might be turned away after being mistakenly placed on a government watch list, or be forced to open your email in the security line.

Several governments have also chosen to use malware to engage in extra-legal spying or system sabotage for dissidents or non-citizens, all in the name of “national security.”

As privacy needs evolve, so too should our regulatory regimes. National governments must put legal checks in place to prevent abuse of state powers, and international bodies need to consider how a changing technological environment shapes security agencies’ best practices. Above all, we need to respect the rights of autonomy, anonymity, association, and expression that privacy makes possible, while also taking into account legitimate law enforcement concerns.

Read our work on privacy issues below, and join EFF to help support our efforts.

For information about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States check out EFF's Surveillance Self-Defense project.

Privacy Highlights

NSA Spying

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late...

Privacy Updates

Support EFF's International Work!

The Internet is global, and so are threats to digital freedom. Over the past year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has fought Internet censorship, oppressive copyright laws and privacy violations wherever they've been under threat around the world.
With the help of our global partners and supporters like you,...

The World Reacts to The New Facebook

It's been a little over a week since Facebook debuted a massive revamp of its privacy settings. EFF immediately followed that release with a detailed critique, concluding that the changes were "clearly intended to push Facebook users to publicly share even more information than before [and] will actually...

EFF Fights for Anonymity for Online Critic in Friday Hearing

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked a federal judge in San Francisco to quash a baseless subpoena aimed at outing an anonymous online critic of a Pennsylvania company called USA Technologies. A hearing in the case is set for Friday.
Earlier this year, EFF's client...

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