Chris Soghoian is one of the leading privacy activists in the United States. As an Open Society Fellow, Soghoian is helping to create a market for privacy by compiling and presenting easy-to-understand information on the actual, substantive privacy practices of telecommunications and Internet companies.
For example, some service providers choose to encrypt users' data, some keep it for short periods of time, and others retain data for years and share it when government agencies request it. Soghoian hopes to enable consumers to make informed decisions, thus giving companies an incentive to compete on privacy.
In 2009, Soghoian developed a tool for the Firefox web browser that enabled customers to opt out of behavioral advertising from numerous advertisement networks. He also co-created the first prototype for the "Do Not Track" technology now used by three major web browsers. Soghoian also served as the first in-house technologist at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, and as a student fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He is completing work on his doctorate in informatics at Indiana University.
Soghoian's insights should be of value to the Open Society Information Program, as well as to other programs working on privacy and freedom of expression issues.