Skip to main content

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 extend your privacy rights into 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 security agencies 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

Banner Graphic: 

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud by Sophia Cope, Amul Kalia, Seth Schoen, and Adam Schwartz Download the report as a PDF . EXECUTIVE SUMMARY أفادت الحكومة الأمريكية أن عدد حالات تفحص المحتويات الالكترونية على الحدود قد إزداد بمقدار خمسة أضعاف...

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...

Privacy Updates

Twitter stirs debate as 'troll' banned over racist abuse

"Corporate platforms have, in many ways, taken on the role of the town square, or public sphere," said a blog post this year from Jillian York, a writer and activist who works with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It is impossible to ignore the effect corporate limitations on speech can have...

Israel group: Families sue Facebook over Palestinian attacks

But Aaron Mackey, a legal fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a U.S. group promoting civil rights in the digital world, said he believed the lawsuit would fail. He said the plaintiffs would have to prove that Facebook was "actively participating" in terrorist attacks. He also said the Communications Decency...

The death of email may be exaggerated

People have been saying for years that email is going to die, that one day people are just going to stop using it. That’s what people told Eva Galperin, global policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “And that came as an enormous surprise to me," she said, "because I’m...

Pages

JavaScript license information