Thematic Focus Areas
DFF is particularly interested in receiving applications for strategic cases that:
- Advance individuals’ ability to exercise their right to privacy: Examples are cases that:
- Protect and safeguard individuals against unjustified government surveillance
- Clarify the scope of protection of personal data under the GDPR
- Enforce consumers’ rights in relation to the unauthorised collection and sharing of personal data
- Protect and promote the free flow of information online: Examples are cases that:
- Challenge the unjustified blocking, filtering and removal of online content, platforms or services
- Ensure that online content is protected against the illegitimate use of copyright claims
- Ensure that net neutrality and the principle of equal access to the internet is promoted and respected in practice
- Ensure accountability, transparency and the adherence to human rights standards in the use and design of technology: Examples are cases that:
- Ensure the respect for human rights in the application of technology by law enforcement, such as in the context of predictive policing
- Maximise transparency in algorithmic decision making and profiling by government and private actors
- Set standards to protect individuals against the discriminatory use of technology
Type of Activities
- Litigation track support: Support for litigation of a case through multiple instances, from first instance through to the final appeal. Example: challenge before the European Court of Human Rights against police use of facial recognition technology.
- Pre-litigation research: Support for activities to prepare for litigation. This could include legal research, evidence gathering, forum selection or identifying claimants and project partners. Example: comparative study between three EU jurisdictions to determine which one offers the best options to address a specific issue under an EU Directive.
- As litigators work with different operational models and each case has different dimensions and complexities, grant amounts requested vary. Rather than working with a fixed case support fee, DFF will evaluate each case on its own merits in light of both the general grantmaking criteria and the principle of cost-efficiency. Please note that DFF does not approve many grants of more than EUR 100,000. Applications exceeding that amount should show evidence of co-financing to improve the chances of a grant being awarded.
- DFF accepts grant applications concerning all Council of Europe Member States.
- the concrete objectives of the litigation;
- a solid legal strategy: which arguments will be made, how they will be framed, and how this will contribute towards achieving the objectives of the litigation;
- how the litigation objectives contribute to advancing digital rights in Europe: what is the expected impact;
- the best forum to litigate in order to achieve the pursued objectives;
- the possible instances of litigation that may be necessary to achieve the litigation objective(s), including appeals and referrals to regional courts;
- how the litigation relates to other existing or planned activities on the litigation’s subject matter – both litigation and otherwise – domestically and in Europe;
- why litigation is an appropriate tool to employ in this context;
- the identified risks and weaknesses of the litigation and a strategy for mitigation;
- a plan to embed the litigation in a broader strategy for change;
- a plan for implementation in case of a positive outcome of the litigation and mitigation in case of a negative or mixed outcome;
- a plan to monitor and evaluate progress towards achieving objectives.
For more information, visit https://digitalfreedomfund.org/grants/