Protecting Internet Users from Attacks on their Privacy

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Through its ADAPT project, Internews advocates for rights-respecting data protection regulation in Latin America and Africa

In the absence of strong, proactive data protection policies, Internet users around the world remain vulnerable to intentional attacks on their privacy and inadvertent breaches that put them at risk. And yet, many countries still lack adequate legal frameworks for protecting user data. Even when data protection laws do exist, implementation and enforcement of these policies remain a challenge. Our Advocating for Data Accountability, Protection and Transparency (ADAPT) Project brings together a consortium of partner organizations in six countries in Latin America and Africa to promote rights-respecting privacy policies and develop best practices around policy implementation and enforcement.

Building networks

The ADAPT advocacy consortium is a cross-regional coalition of digital rights groups dedicated to supporting data protection legislation and initiatives in their countries. The consortium consists of six partners (representing Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria), legal fellows specific to each country, regional data protection experts, and leading organizations to serve as mentors in designing and implementing advocacy efforts.

Learn more about our partners and the status of data protection in their countries.

Advocating for user privacy

The central mission of the project is to support the advancement, adoption, and enforcement of rights-respecting data protection legislation in each of the six target countries. To this end, each consortium partner is conducting a year-long strategic advocacy campaign based on comprehensive legal landscape analyses conducted in early 2021. A copy of those analyses will be available on the project website soon.

Broadening the conversation

In an effort to expand and diversify traditionally GDPR- and Europe-centric conversations around data protection, we launched the “Privacy is Global” podcast that explores data protection efforts in Latin America and Africa. The Podcast draws on ADAPT data protection experts, legal fellows from the ADAPT advocacy consortium, and traditional digital rights activists in Africa and Latin America.

Episodes highlight a variety of guest speakers who take time to reflect on, among other subjects, the status of digital privacy in countries with existing data protection legislation such as Brazil & Kenya, advocacy approaches being taken in countries without current legislation, and regional trends and issues facing privacy activists around the world.

The first episode out now takes a deep dive into the issue of facial recognition in Brazil. The episode is in part a conversation with two Brazilian experts: Mariah Rafaela Silva, scholar and activist in transgender rights and to Pablo Nunes, black scholar and activist specialist in public security and racism who discuss the risks of implementing this kind of tech without an informed public debate about potential consequences.