GOLD2022

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER

Privacy is a fundamental right.

aka EPIC   |   Washington, DC   |  https://www.epic.org/

Mission

The Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") is an independent non-profit research center in Washington, DC. EPIC's mission is to focus public attention on emerging privacy and related human rights issues. EPIC works to protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values, and to promote the Public Voice in decisions concerning the future of the Internet. EPIC pursues a wide range of program activities including public education, litigation, and advocacy. EPIC routinely files amicus briefs in federal courts, pursues open government cases, defends consumer privacy, organizes conferences for NGOs, and speaks before Congress and judicial organizations about emerging privacy and civil liberties issues.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Director

Mr. Alan Butler

Main address

1519 New Hampshire Ave NW

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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EIN

52-2225921

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (U01)

International Human Rights (Q70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

EPIC Open Government Project

The EPIC Open Government Project is one of the nation’s leading government transparency programs. Combining decades of expertise in the Freedom of Information Act with experienced litigation attorneys, EPIC obtains important government records to promote accountability and safeguard civil liberties.

The EPIC Open Government Project pursues four distinct program activities. First, the project actively pursues secret government documents through the FOIA. Second, the EPIC Open Government Project recommends improvements to agency rulemakings concerning transparency, privacy, and civil liberties. Third, EPIC trains law school students on utilizing the FOIA to promote open government. Fourth, EPIC participates in coalitions with other government transparency organizations. EPIC’s extensive press outreach and popular website allow EPIC to make FOIA documents widely available to the press and the public. [epic.org/open_gov/]

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Public Voice coalition was established in 1996 by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) to promote public participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet. The Public Voice has pursued issues ranging from privacy and freedom of expression to consumer protection and Internet governance. Through international conferences, reports and funding for travel the Public Voice project seeks to increase the presence of NGOs at meetings across the globe. In cooperation with the OECD, UNESCO, and other international organizations, the Public Voice project brings civil society leaders face to face with government officials for constructive engagement about current policy issues. Public Voice events have been held in Buenos Aires, Cancun, Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Ottawa, Paris, Seoul, Washington, and Wroclaw.

The Public Voice project is made possible, in part, by support from the Ford Foundation, the Markle Foundation, the Open Society Institute, and EPIC. The Public Voice has provided support for several organizations, including the Center for International Media Action, CPSR, EDRi, People for Internet Responsibility, Privacy International, CPSR-Peru, and the TransAlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD).

The Public Voice helped establish the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC) which is the "voice of civil society" at the OECD. CSISAC's mission is set out in the Seoul Declaration adopted at the OECD Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, 2008. CSISAC contributes to the OECD’s work on Digital Economy Policy and promotes the exchange of information between the OECD and civil society. The OECD provides civil society participants with substantial empirical analysis that enable informed policy assessments; CSISAC provides the OECD with the essential perspectives of experts and NGOs leaders. CSISAC strengthens the relationship between civil society and the OECD and promotes better-informed and more widely accepted policies for the IT sector.

"There is an increasing recognition that we must involve all stakeholders including the voice of civil society. The Public Voice meeting and its contributions to the Forum have been constructive and positive." — OECD Under Secretary General

Population(s) Served
Adults

The EPIC Amicus Project seeks to promote privacy and government oversight by filing "friend of the court" briefs in federal and state courts.The EPIC Amicus Program is one of the most prolific appellate advocacy programs in the United States, filing almost 100 amicus briefs on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues, including more than 20 briefs for the US Supreme Court. The EPIC Project brings together experts in the fields of law, technology, and privacy policy with a team of in-house litigators to identify and file in cutting edge privacy cases. EPIC’s amicus briefs have been cited by judges and justices in significant Fourth Amendment, consumer privacy, communications privacy, medical privacy, workplace privacy, and open government cases. EPIC continues to expand the scope of the Amicus Program, including arguing cases before the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. EPIC’s amicus participation has also been requested by judges in both federal and state cases. And EPIC attorneys frequently speak at judicial conferences, both in the United States and around the world, about emerging privacy issues and the role of the judiciary.[epic.org/amicus/]

Population(s) Served
Adults

EPIC's Policy Project provides expertise to shape strong privacy and open government laws at both the state and federal level. [epic.org/testimony/congress and epic.org/state-policy/] The EPIC website [epic.org] is a resource for lawmakers, their staffs, academics, the media, and the public on various privacy related topics. The EPIC Policy Project has testified in Congress, submitted statements to Congressional committees, and participated in hearings before the Wisconsin State Assembly on student privacy and the Pennsylvania Assembly on drone surveillance.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Consumers should not have to choose between engaging in modern society and retaining their right to privacy. The EPIC Consumer Privacy Project advocates for the rights consumers and Internet users, and works to protect consumers’ personal information and autonomy in the digital marketplace. EPIC promotes the implementation and enforcement of Fair Information Practices, and the enactment of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. [epic.org/privacy/consumer/]

Population(s) Served
Adults

EPIC’s Surveillance Oversight Project focuses public attention on emerging technologies used to conduct domestic surveillance. As federal Judge Chutkan explained in a case brought by EPIC, "There can be little dispute that the general public has a genuine, tangible interest in a system designed to store and manipulate significant quantities of its own biometric data, particularly given the great numbers of people from whom such data will be gathered.”

EPIC's Surveillance Oversight Project looks also at drone surveillance, social media monitoring, police body-worn cameras, passenger profiling, vehicle tracking and cyber surveillance. The Project pursues several activities to inform the public and to advocate for better privacy protections. EPIC uses FOIA to obtain documents about government surveillance programs. EPIC also files comments with federal agencies, leads coalition advocacy efforts, and testifies before state and federal legislatures for better privacy protections. EPIC has filed numerous amicus briefs in important court cases that address surveillance issues. [epic.org/privacy/surveillance]

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through the Administrative Law Project, EPIC aims to compel federal agencies to adopt practices that safeguard privacy and promote transparency. EPIC has pursued this mission through extensive comments to agencies, and subsequent lawsuits in instances where agencies fail to adopt EPIC’s recommendations. Over the last twenty years, EPIC has successfully advocated for individual privacy rights in agency rulemaking proceedings. EPIC has also successfully sued the government to force an agency to conduct a public rulemaking as required under the APA. [epic.org/apa/comments/]

Population(s) Served
Adults

EPIC’s Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and Human Rights Project advocates for the adoption of transparent, equitable, and commonsense development of AI policy and regulations. EPIC pursues this goal through a combination of public education, direct legislative advocacy, freedom of information requests, comments to decision-makers at the state, federal, and international levels, and more.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

EPIC's mission is to focus public attention on emerging privacy and related human rights issues. EPIC works to protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values, and to promote the Public Voice in decisions concerning the future of the Internet.

With EPIC's Freedom of Information Act litigation, we hope to promote government accountability and strengthen democratic institutions.

The EPIC Consumer Privacy project promotes consumer protection, particularly for users of new Internet-based services.

EPIC's Domestic Surveillance Project seeks to rein in the scope of government surveillance, particularly as to new systems for identification, and profiling.

The EPIC Amicus Project seeks to educate courts about important dimensions of emerging privacy and civil liberties issues that might otherwise be overlooked by the parties.

The EPIC Public Voice Project supports public participation in decisions concerning the future of the Internet.

EPIC hires outstanding staff, works with distinguished experts, selects strategically campaigns and cases, and maintains high ethical standards.

EPIC develops program areas that are complimentary to maximize impact and minimizes duplications.

EPIC seeks to engage the public and policymakers so that there are meaningful outcomes and significant results.

EPIC carefully selects issues and cases, but once a project is chosen EPIC will vigorously pursue a successful outcome. And EPIC will constantly evaluate outcomes.

We have an outstanding staff, an engaged group of expert advisors, a strong online presence, a network of colleagues and allies, genuine independence, and a reputation for success.

The EPIC Staff consists of lawyers who are certified to practice before most of the federal appellate courts in the United States, a dozen state courts, and the US Supreme Court. EPIC attorneys often speak at judicial conferences in the United States and around the world. EPIC attorneys have received awards and recognition, from the American Bar Foundation, the American Jurist, American Lawyer, LawDragon, Who's Who, and the World Technology Network.

The EPIC Advisory Board includes many of the leading technologist, scholars, and public policy experts in the privacy field. The EPIC Advisory Board includes winners of the Turing Award (computer science), the Thurgood Marshall Award (law), the Norbert Wiener Award (computers and ethics), and the MacArthur Fellows Award.

EPIC works with wonderful allies and colleagues around the world, small NGOs, established leaders, and subject matter experts who give of their time and energy to help support the work of EPIC.

EPIC does not take corporate funding or government grants. EPIC relies on the support of individual donors and foundations that believe the defense of privacy is critical and that support EPIC's mission. As a consequence, EPIC is able to pursue its mission vigorously and effectively and not be sidelined by financial considerations unrelated to its purpose.

What we need to do:

(1) Enact a comprehensive framework for privacy protection, including the creation of a U.S. Data Protection Agency,
(2) Ensure algorithmic transparency and fairness for in artificial intelligence,
(4) Establish a Constitutional right to information privacy,
(4) Ensure the widespread availability of Privacy Enhancing Techniques ("PETs") that minimize or eliminate the collection of personally identifiable information,
(5) Promote Data Protection

Financials

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER

Board of directors
as of 11/15/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Prof. Danielle Citron

University of Virginia School of Law

Term: 2022 - 2021

Jeff Jonas

Senzing

Danielle Citron

University of Virginia School of Law

Shoshana Zuboff

Harvard Business School

Anita Allen

University of Pennsylvania

Sherry Turkle

MIT

Harry Lewis

Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Chris Larsen

Ripple, Inc.

Alan Butler

EPIC

Christopher Wolf

Hogan Lovells

Anna Lysyanskaya

Brown University

Roger McNamee

Elevation Partners

Ari Ezra Waldman

Northeastern University School of Law

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes