About Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization protecting privacy for all by empowering individuals and advocating for positive change.  Founded in 1992 and headquartered in San Diego, California, we serve individuals throughout the United States.

We provide clarity on complex issues by publishing extensive educational materials and answering individual questions. We help shape the dialogue around privacy by highlighting individual stories and championing strong consumer protections. Privacy is an issue that affects us all, and everyone deserves the opportunity to be informed and be heard.

Our History

We were founded in 1992 though funding from the Telecommunications Education Trust as a program of the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law. 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 deliver our educational materials in a more up-to-date, broad-reaching and expedited manner.  In 2011, we created an online question and complaint center to better serve and address the needs of the public and track common trends in privacy issues.

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. By building upon our well-established foundation, we continue to work to protect privacy for all.

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)