Using the GDPR in the fight for rights & social justice

Laura Guzman

Over the past year, data protection legislation has had a significant impact on the work of civil society, especially with the advent of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This impact is often seen as a negative one, and the stories we most often see revolve around this negativity, too.

However, we know that the GDPR and similar data protection legislation has been used as a force for good, too – and, as I wrote almost a year ago, the GDPR presents an opportunity for civil society to get more intentional about their use of data. At their core, these are rights-respecting and privacy-protecting regulations that are powerful tools for not just individuals, but society as a whole.

New responsible data reflection stories

With that in mind, we’re excited to be kicking off a new installation of Responsible Data Reflection Stories. This round we’ll be focusing on celebrating the positive impacts of data protection legislation and highlighting ways civil society can use policies like the GDPR to further their own goals and strengthen their work.

By researching these real-life stories, speaking with practitioners and sharing what we find, we hope to highlight the positive impacts of data protection legislation and collect a body of tactics and knowledge that civil society actors can adapt and reuse.

Have any stories to share?

We’re looking for stories that fall into three overlapping categories:

  • Stories that show how legislation has been a catalyst for better data governance and responsible data practices within non-profits.
  • Stories that highlight how privacy-focused non-profits are using GDPR and similar legislation to advance their fight for privacy rights.
  • Stories of how data protection legislation has strengthened social justice work outside of privacy-focused missions, adding an extra tool to the advocacy toolbox of those who may not have already been focused on data or privacy.

If you’d like to take part, have a story to share or know a lead we should follow up on, email Laura Guzmán at

Image by Sean Patrick Murphy via Unsplash.


This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.