About Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Creating educational materials, articles and answers to direct questions, we forge a better-informed public. Bringing attention to individual stories and common trends across the consumer landscape, we magnify key issues. Building bridges through our robust research tools and policy analysis, we shape the dialogue around privacy.

Our History

Founded in 1992 though funding from the Telecommunications Education Trust, we began as a program of the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law. During these early years, we staffed and operated a toll-free telephone hotline and provided printed consumer guides—assisting tens of thousands of people. We were also the first consumer organization in the nation to raise awareness of identity theft and provide victim assistance.

We launched the first iteration of our website in 1996 as we transitioned to the fiscal sponsorship of the Utility Consumers’ Action Network. This jump into the digital age allowed us to create online question and complaint centers to better address the needs of the public as well as track common trends in consumer issues for which we could shine a light on for legislation. We were also now able to deliver our educational materials in a more-up-to-date, broad-reaching and expedited manner through these digital means.

In 2014, we became an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and have continued to empower individuals and advocate for positive change within the ever-changing privacy landscape. Building upon our well-established foundation, we progress forward—making advances both small and large towards a world where the right to privacy is accepted by all as a fundamental human right. 

Awards and Recognition

Albin Gruhn Consumer Warrior Award from Consumer Federation of California (2012)

Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award from Consumer Federation of California (2010)

U.S Privacy Champion Award from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (2010)

Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (2002)

Foundation for Improvement of Justice Award for Work with Identity Theft Victims (2000)

Brandeis Award from Privacy International (2000)

Consumer Action Award for Service to Consumers (1997)