For two months, the new data protection organization noyb – European Center for Digital Rights has raised money with a Kickstarter campaign in order to enforce the fundamental right to privacy on a European level. The funding of this project is now secured. By the end of the campaign on January 31st, 2018, the organization has secured more than 300,000 Euro in yearly long-term funding. More than 2,500 individuals and numerous institutions have invested in European privacy enforcement. This will allow noyb to start operations in May 2018 – just in time for the new EU data protection rules (GDPR).
Max Schrems, lawyer, privacy advocate and founder of noyb:
«We have received an incredible amount of positive feedback right from the start, but there is a huge step from supporting an idea to becoming a supporting member. The fact that so many have made this step shows clearly how many people want to make privacy real. People want to use digital services without the constant fear over misuse of their personal information.»
This is exactly what noyb wants to push for through legal action.
Strategic and effective enforcement of fundamental rights
The new organization uses new possibilities of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to take action against tech giants who ignore the rules. With a strategic choice of informal warnings, legal complaints, model lawsuits and different forms of collective redress, noyb will ensure that it always uses the most effective way of fighting for users’ rights. By focusing on willful violations of the law, noyb also contributes to fair competition in Europe.
«With noyb and the new General Data Protection Regulation, there are completely new possibilities for the enforcement of our rights. People should be able to use innovative services, without constant fear over their personal data. So far we had this big European privacy lie – we praised ourselves to have the strictest laws, but there was no enforcement in reality. We now want to make sure that EU privacy laws get teeth.»
Support from all over Europe
Since launching the Kickstarter campaign on November 28th, 2017, more than 300,000 Euro have been pledged. About 60% of this amount were pledged by individual supporting members. More than 2,500 members have on average pledged more than 75 euro per year. As most reports about noyb were so far published in Austria and Germany, the majority of all members come from these two countries. 1,150 German members and 860 Austrian members make up about 75% of all members. The other members are coming from all over Europe (NL: 91; CH: 65; DK: 59; GB: 50; FR: 36; BE: 31; SE: 24; NO: 12, usw.) and even 14 people from the United States became supporting members of noyb.
Support from the public sector, from companies and institutions
110,000 Euro of noyb’s core funding comes from different organizations. The City of Vienna contributes 25,000 Euros, the operator of the privacy friendly search engine StartPage.com sponsors noyb with 20,000 Euros, the Austrian “Arbeiterkammer” became a 20,000 Euro member, the Austrian software company Fabasoft sponsors noyb, Mozilla (the foundation behind the Firefox browser) provided 10,000 Euros, PlusServer (a German cloud provider) donated 5,000 Euros and an Austrian Union (GPA) became a 5,000 Euro member, while the US data protection organization epic donates 5,000 Euros per year.
Start in May – preparations are already under way
After funding of noyb is now secured, Max Schrems and his fellow campaigners are now preparing for the launch in May.
«As soon as the GDPR comes into force, we will be ready for action. Until then, we will build a powerful team and an efficient organizational structure“, says Schrems. Specifically, this means: recruiting experts in law and technology, setting up an office infrastructure and creating a pan-European network of partners.»
The start has already been made. Some of the partners already include: the Austrian consumer protection agency (VKI), the Norwegian consumer protection association Forbrukerrådet, the Vienna Chaos Computer Club (C3W) or Roland Prozessfinanz. In addition, noyb is supported by numerous experts in the fields of data protection, law and IT, ia. of two «fathers» of the GDPR, Jan-Philipp Albrecht (MEP / Greens) and Paul Nemitz (EU Commission) and Prof. Herwig Hofmann (University of Luxembourg) and Josef Weidenholzer (MEP, SPÖ).