Global Initiatives

Researchers around the world are engaged in developing design-based solutions to privacy issues. We refer below to some other leading institutions and projects focusing specifically on privacy icons and other issues surrounding data protection and visualisation of privacy-related information. Here is a partial list of institutions and projects focusing on Privacy Icons and related issues surrounding data protection and visualisation of privacy policies (v. June 2019).

In case you work on privacy icons or related topics and wish to be added to the list, exchange or collaborate, we encourage you to contact us.

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An informal project group made up of lawyers from Switzerland has developed a set of icons that visualise types of personal data, possible sources, purposes of processing, special processes, the passing on to third parties, and the place of processing. The set was adopted by some major Swiss companies to supplement their privacy policies.

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Privacy Tech

“Privacy Tech” is a collaborative project that aims to “identify, promote and develop legal-technical solutions to privacy protection on the Internet.” Its work includes the development of privacy icons.

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UC Berkeley

Privacy Patterns

“Privacy Patterns” is a collaborative project with the goal to “standardize language for privacy-preserving technologies” and to “document common solutions to privacy problems”. The project aims to be “a living document constructed by the community of engineers, designers, lawyers and regulators involved in this topic.”

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Usable Privacy

“Usable Privacy” is a project by the US-American “National Science Foundation”. The project “builds on recent advances in natural language processing, privacy preference modeling, crowdsourcing, formal methods, and privacy interfaces to overcome this situation.”

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University of Bonn


“ForTech” is a research site conducted by the chair of Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider at the University of Bonn. Its objective is to bring representatives of policy, economy and law into dialogue in order to discuss questions concerning recent technological developments. For this purpose, it hosts the semiannual discussion platform “Bonner Streitgespräche zum Daten- und Datenschutzrecht”.

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UC Berkeley

Know Privacy

“KnowPrivacy” is a collaborative research project by former graduate students of the UC Berkeley School of Information. It aims to “to identify specific practices that may be harmful or deceptive and attract the attention of government regulators.” To that end, it compares “users’ expectations of privacy online and the data collection practices of website operators.”

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Carnegie Mellon University

CUPS Privacy Nutrition Label

The Cylab Usably Privacy and Security (CUPS) laboratory is a collaborative research center working on projects “related to understanding and improving the usability of privacy and security software and systems.” It is affiliated with the “Security and Privacy Institute Cylab” of the Carnegie Mellon University. The CUPS laboratory has been developing “a ’privacy nutrition label’ to make privacy policies easy to understand and compare.”

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Harvard Kennedy School

Privacy Design Forecast 2019

The “Privacy Design Forecast 2019” is a “collection of conceptual ideas on privacy by design and meaningful informed consent” by the “Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public” of the Harvard Kennedy School.

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University of Twente

Privacy Rating

Based on extensive research into privacy regulation, standards and guidelines provides a simple way to assess the privacy of an online service. It incorporates information about the collection and sharing of user data, as well as on the amount of control users have over their data and the level of security provided to protect user’s data. This information is combined into an intuitive visualisation.

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