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. Due to the context or sensitivity of some projects, not all the work DFF is supporting is shown here. We will continue to add case studies over time as new grants are approved and projects progress.
We have also produced more in-depth analyses of the impact, background, development and the application process on 11 of the case studies below, accessible here.
The case studies can be filtered by thematic focus area or type of grant support.
- Privacy and Data Protection
- Human rights standards in the use and design of technology
- Free Flow of Information Online
- COVID-19 Litigation Fund
- Pre-litigation Research Support
- Litigation Support
Foxglove and JCWI successfully challenged the UK Home Office, stopping use of a discriminatory algorithm used to stream visa applications.
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 subjected.
Litigation to challenge use of copyright law by the German government to restrict the sharing of official information online.
defenddigitalme is taking legal action against the UK Department of Education to ensure that the data of students is collected and processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently.
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.
Litigation against universities in Germany to stop the processing of personal data through automated online proctoring software.
Litigation to improve security standards and shorten retention periods for sharing of health data by insurance providers with research institutions.
Research to prepare for litigation challenging examples where data protection law is misused by the Spanish government to limit freedom of information and expression
Research preparing for litigation challenging an inadequate data protection regime for people residing in Germany without German citizenship.
Litigation to restrict access to photographs and personal information from biometric ID cards.
Legal action demanding access to information about algorithm-driven technology used by state bodies in Germany
Research to prepare for litigation to challenge the practice in Germany of accessing sensitive personal data on the mobile devices of migrants and asylum seekers upon arrival in the country.
Coordinated complaints to data protection authorities across the EU pushing for changes to the online advertising industry so that users have control over how their data is used.
Litigation preventing the expansion of a criminal record database to include COVID-19 lockdown infringements.
Cross-jurisdictional litigation action to stop the use of COVID-19 apps that do not respect people’s rights to privacy and data protection.
Research to prepare a strategic case challenging restrictions to copyright exceptions that limit freedom of expression and access to information.
Litigation to prevent the use of remote proctoring software until data rights and equality issues are resolved.
Research to prepare a strategic case challenging digital practices that interfere with the rights to freedom of thought and opinion.
A coalition in the Netherlands successfully challenged the use of the “SyRI” risk-scoring algorithm by the Dutch government.