Information and Digital Rights
We support efforts to strengthen freedom of expression, privacy, access to information and antidiscrimination in the digital environment, and to ensure that the rapid evolution of digital technology supports open society values.
2019 Information and Digital Rights Budget by Region
Our work includes efforts to curb overly broad and unaccountable surveillance, make major internet platforms more accountable to the public, and expose and challenge problems caused by algorithmic decision-making, which risks creating new forms of discrimination. We also support a global movement to make knowledge more accessible, and strengthen new ways of using technology and data for evidence and advocacy.
In the 1990s, the Open Society Foundations supported the development of internet access in the former Communist states where it was working, funding access to libraries and schools from Hungary to Kazakhstan.
Today, we support groups around the world that work on protecting the open internet, such as Brazil’s Institute of Technology and Society, which helped shape a 2016 law on internet rights, or Pakistan’s Bolo Bhi, which contested a draconian and loosely written cybersecurity law. We also support digital rights groups in Europe to enforce the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, the new global gold standard for data privacy.
Since 2001, the Open Society Foundations have supported the Open Access model for academic research—an alternative publishing and distribution model that makes scholarly research literature freely available to the public online.
Tech for Tolerance
Can a Virtual Reality Video Help Fight Anti-HIV Stigma?
In Cape Town, activists are working to combat the myths and misinformation associated with HIV testing.
Building a Citizen-Driven Media for the African Continent
Journalists and entrepreneurs are coming up with new ways to inform and connect their fellow citizens. A novel initiative seeks to bring these innovators together for the benefit of all.
The EU’s New Privacy Rules Are Only a First Step
While the new rules governing how large tech companies use people’s data are a step in the right direction, more must be done in order to rein in the excesses of “surveillance capitalism.”