Case Studies 2

Case studies

DFF supports strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe, by providing financial support for strategic court cases and catalysing collaboration between those working to advance digital rights.

Strategic litigation – litigation with broad impact and which can bring about legislative or policy change – has proven to be a crucial lever to protect human rights in the digital realm. The case studies provided here illustrate some of the important digital rights work of our grantees, which DFF is proud to support.

Invasive surveillance through thermal scanning

Litigation ensuring the increased roll out of thermal scanning technology does not violate privacy and data protection rights.

Organisation: Big Brother Watch

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic areas: Privacy and data protection; Human rights standards in the use and design of technology

Women’s rights website blocked in Spain

Litigation challenging website censorship and demanding that access to sexual and reproductive health services be recognised as a key part of the right to information in Spain.

Organisation: Women’s Link Worldwide, with Women on Web

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic area: Free flow of information online

France criminal records database expanded during COVID-19

Litigation preventing the expansion of a criminal record database to include COVID-19 lockdown infringements.

Organisation: La Quadrature du Net

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection

Intrusive impacts of remote proctoring by universities in Germany

Litigation against universities in Germany to stop the processing of personal data through automated online proctoring software.

Organisation: Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection

COVID-19 apps in Europe violating data protection and privacy

Cross-jurisdictional litigation action to stop the use of COVID-19 apps that do not respect people’s rights to privacy and data protection.

Organisation: Civil Liberties Union for Europe, with Access Now and member organisations across 12 EU countries

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection; Human rights standards in the use and design of technology

Sharing of health data by German public health insurance providers

Litigation to improve security standards and shorten retention periods for sharing of health data by insurance providers with research institutions.

Organisation: Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte

Grant type: COVID-19 Litigation Fund

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection

UK Home Office visa application streaming algorithm

Foxglove and JCWI successfully challenged the UK Home Office, stopping use of a discriminatory algorithm used to stream visa applications.

Organisation: Foxglove, in collaboration with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)

Grant type: Emergency Litigation and Single Instance Litigation

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection; Human rights standards in the use and design of technology

Secret, targeted surveillance in Hungary

HCLU are taking legal action to pressure Hungary’s government to put in place adequate measures for individuals to find out about or challenge unwarranted surveillance against them/to which they have been.

Organisation: Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)

Grant type: Single Instance Litigation

Thematic area: Privacy and data protection

Facebook’s private censorship

Facebook censorship and changing corporate policies on content moderation towards a fair, transparent, and regulated system.

Organisation: Panoptykon Foundation

Grant type: Single Instance Litigation

Thematic area: Free Flow of Information Online