5 Organizations Working to Protect Privacy

Many people are concerned about the security of their information online, but the laws are sometimes as complex as the technology, and it's tough to know what to do. Each of these groups has specific tactics for monitoring the changing nature of the Internet and ensuring that laws, companies, and consumers are doing their part to keep everyone safe. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Groups Taking Action On Privacy And Online Security

Organization Headquarters Description
New Media Rights San Diego, CA Program of the California Western School of Law that offers legal services to those who require specialized help in Internet and media law
Online Trust Alliance Reston, VA Initiative of the Internet Society that promotes best practices to build consumer confidence and protect user data
Electronic Privacy Information Center Washington, D.C. Public interest research center focused on civil liberties issues related to technology
Ponemon Institute Traverse City, MI Think tank that aims to advance privacy and data protection
Center for Internet Security East Greenbush, NY Offers security tools and an information sharing system to safeguard against cyber threats

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In Depth

There are many issues surrounding online privacy, such as your browsing habits and location being tracked by search engines and social media websites. Data breaches also happen to known sites, where cybercriminals exploit flaws in a company's security to steal their users' personal information. With that in mind, here, in no particular order, are five organizations working hard to protect privacy.

First up, at #1, is New Media Rights, an independently-funded program of the California Western School of Law that provides services to people whose projects require specialized legal expertise. Aside from educating people on copyright laws and helping organizations that provide better access to public information, it also helps individuals who are worried about keeping their privacy safe and stopping unwanted and illegal commercial calls and texts.

It offers legal services for internet and smartphone users who need advice on consumer rights and intellectual property laws, and relies on the support of generous individuals to continue educating people for free or for a nominal price. Aside from making a gift of any amount, those who wish to support New Media Rights may buy their book, "Don't Panic," online.

It offers legal services for internet and smartphone users who need advice on consumer rights and intellectual property laws, and relies on the support of generous individuals to continue educating people for free or for a nominal price.

At #2 is the Online Trust Alliance, or OTA for short. It's an initiative of the Internet Society, which is a cause-driven organization that's dedicated to ensuring that the internet remains open and transparent. The OTA identifies and promotes security and privacy best practices that build consumer confidence online and better protect users' data and identity.

It also provides independent research and benchmark reporting on security and privacy in order to provide insights and practical recommendations for organizations of all sizes. Those who wish to get involved may either make a donation or become a member of the Internet Society and join one of their many chapters around the world.

Next, at #3, is the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Also known as EPIC, it's a public interest research center founded in 1994 that aims to focus people's attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues while also promoting freedom of expression. It works closely with a distinguished advisory board, with expertise in law, technology, and public policy in order to organize conferences and campaigns that aim to defend consumer privacy.

It works closely with a distinguished advisory board, with expertise in law, technology, and public policy in order to organize conferences and campaigns that aim to defend consumer privacy.

EPIC frequently files amicus curiae briefs in federal and state cases concerning privacy, assisting judges in analyzing complex and technical issues. The organization also publishes many reports on the state of cybersecurity and consumer protection both internationally and in the United States. People who want to support EPIC may make a one-time or recurring gift of any amount through its website, and donors may choose which of its projects they want to directly donate to.

At #4 is the Ponemon Institute. Founded in 2002 by Dr. Larry Ponemon, it's a research think tank that aims to advance privacy, data protection, and information security practices. Through independent research, it educates leaders from both public and private organizations on how to improve their data protection initiatives and become better at building trust with their customers and business partners. It also offers strategic advisory services that help companies meet regulatory requirements in the United States and abroad.

It's the parent organization of the RIM Council, which is a group of security and information management professionals from various corporations who advocate for better privacy practices. Members regularly meet to formulate solutions to the challenges faced by their respective companies. Sponsorship revenues from participating companies provide funding for its core activities, and those interested in joining the RIM Council may contact the Ponemon Institute for more information.

It's the parent organization of the RIM Council, which is a group of security and information management professionals from various corporations who advocate for better privacy practices.

Finally, at #5, we have the Center for Internet Security, or CIS for short, an organization dedicated to safeguarding private and public entities against cyber threats. It offers many security tools and services that range from free advisories to a paid membership to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which allows state, local, tribal, and territorial entities to stay up to date on the latest threats and enlist the help of an emergency response team that can assist organizations during a cyber attack.

Its website features an Alert Level that indicates how risky it currently is on the internet by determining factors such as current known exploits, how likely an attack could happen, and what its potential targets are, which can range from home users to email servers. People who want to get involved may go online and apply for one of the CIS's job openings.