It’s also hard to overlook the fact that a lot of privacy advocacy groups in the U.S. get funding from the same tech companies that would ostensibly be affected by government regulation of consumer data collection. EFF, for example, took in about $822,000 from Google, including donations from employees that are matched by the company, in fiscal 2017. CDT collected about $590,000 in donations and support from Google in 2016 and received $250,000 from Facebook last year. As for OTI, Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt co-founded and has been a significant donor to New America for years. He and his wife’s philanthropic foundation committed to $4 million in funding New America from 2016 to 2021. All of these groups maintain complete independence from their donors.
In January the European Commission is launching 14 out of a total of 15 bug bounties on Free Software projects that the EU institutions rely on.