International & Inter-Governmental Organizations
The following international and inter-governmental organizations play an active role in the ongoing public policy debates over data security and online privacy.
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is one of several regional organizations established in the aftermath of World War II. It is separate and distinct from the European Union and has a much larger membership than the EU. The Council's core mission is the protection of human rights, but it also works to promote democracy, the rule of law, and uniform standards.
Most of the Council's work is accomplished through the drafting of treaties, such as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (a/k/a the European Convention on Human Rights) and the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to the Automatic Processing of Personal Data.
Council of Europe Data Protection Portal
Visit this gateway page to learn more about the Council of Europe's ongoing work in the field of data protection, including background information about the Convention on Personal Data Processing, and efforts to modernize the Convention. The portal also provides access to the following materials:
Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD)
The OECD provides a forum in which its 34 member countries can share data and develop solutions to common problems on matters of public policy, including information security and privacy. In particular, the OECD has launched the following initiatives:
United Nations Global Pulse Initiative
The Global Pulse Initiative was established by UN Secretary-General to promote the use of big data analytics to achieve sustainable development and humanitarian goals. A core component of the initiative is the development of standards and best practices to ensure data privacy, including the following:
The non-governmental organizations described below publish credible research and informed commentary on data security and privacy issues, much of which is freely accessible from their respective websites. Many of them also advocate for enhanced online data security and privacy protections.
- Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in London and Brussels, the CDT support laws, corporate policies, and technology tools that protect the privacy of Internet users. It also advocates for stronger legal controls on government surveillance. To access CDT publications and commentary, visit the CDT's Insights Page, click on the filter button, and select "Privacy & Data" as the issue.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The EFF was founded in 1990 to champion user privacy, free expression, and innovation through litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. Click on the "Updates" tab on the menu bar at the top of the homepage to access whitepapers (reports) prepared by EFF researchers and to monitor the status of legal cases in which the EFF has filed amicus briefs. Visit EFF's Deep Links Blog, for timely and informed commentary.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Established in 1994 to protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values in the information age, EPIC produces policy research, conducts public education campaigns, and engages in legislative advocacy. It also files amicus briefs in cases involving open government and consumer privacy. For more information about EPIC's work, click on the "Policy Issues" tab on the menu bar at the top of the homepage. Click on the "Our Work" tab to access reports and publications, U.S. Congressional testimony, amicus briefs, and other materials.
- Privacy International
This London-based NGO advocates for strong national, regional, and international laws that protect privacy, both online and offline. It also litigates to ensure that government surveillance is conducted in a manner that is consistent with the rule of law. Visit the Reports Page to access briefings, investigations, reports, and submission to UN agencies. Visit the Data Exploitation Page for case studies involving the use of personal data. Visit the Legal Actions Page for information about pending litigation and links to court documents.
- The Rand Corporation
This independent think tank, which is known for the quality and rigor of its work product, is a good source for credible research and informed commentary. Many of its research reports are available for download in PDF format. Visit the Information Security page to browse for reports on this topic. Or use the Advanced Search Template to search by keyword.