The Center for Democracy & Technology launched a Take Back Your Privacy campaign Dec. 3 that the privacy advocates hope will eventually lead to a comprehensive federal consumer privacy law. The group also aims to increase demand for and availability of user-friendly privacy tools to give Internet users more control of their data.
The new CDT Website offers users a platform and tools to create communities that will unite around privacy issues. The CDT hopes the site will become an interactive hub for the privacy campaign, kept fresh with information about the latest developments in privacy controls and how Congress is reacting to the campaign's message.
"It's time for privacy law and online practices to catch up with the seismic shifts in technology," CDT President and CEO Leslie Harris said in a statement. "We know that Americans want better privacy protections. Take Back Your Privacy will help them make sure that their voices are heard."
The site features a privacy complaint tool that allows people to register privacy concerns they find online with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and share those concerns with their social media contacts. Other tools include a letter-writing tool that allows users to contact members of Congress directly about privacy legislation and social media tools to spread the word and discuss what can be done.
In the first quarter of next year, CDT will also launch Privacy Labs, a development area where ideas on new privacy tools can be exchanged, and new tools intended to foster an open community where anyone who feels strongly about privacy protection can contribute new ideas or develop new tools, from developers to concerned Internet users.
"We know that restoring the privacy balance in this country won't happen overnight, but it won't happen at all if we don't demand it," said CDT Vice President Ari Schwartz. "Our goal is to make privacy a higher priority, so lawmakers and business leaders will have no choice but to respond."