PRESS RELEASE (PDF)
July 23, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Digital Trust Foundation today announced $1.6 million in grants for research, education, and support focused on understanding, preventing, and responding to digital abuse. The grants will go to emerging and established leaders in the field.
“Cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and other forms of digital abuse are far too common,” said Larry Magid, Digital Trust Foundation board member and ConnectSafely.org CEO and co-founder. “The research grants will expand what we know about who experiences and perpetrates digital abuse. We also funded groups working to prevent digital abuse and to support victims and institutions in responding to digital abuse.”
Three of the grants will go toward digital abuse prevalence research, including a nationally-representative survey of youths’ and adults’ experiences with cyberstalking and digital domestic violence. Two projects will address digital abuse in the school environment: one will help students prevent digital abuse and the other will help schools respond to digital abuse. One grantee will release an online platform for digital abuse victims seeking support. Finally, three grantees will focus on how laws and the legal system protect digital abuse victims.
For more information about the organizations and projects receiving Digital Trust Foundation grants, please visit www.digitaltrustfoundation.org/grant-summaries/.
The Digital Trust Foundation board of directors allocated funding to four program areas: (1) Privacy Education for Youth; (2) Understanding Socioeconomic Status and Online Privacy and Security; (3) Assessing, Preventing, and Addressing Digital Abuse; (4) General Funding for Promotion of Online Privacy, Safety, and Security. As of June 2015, the Foundation has completed its grantmaking.
The directors of the Digital Trust Foundation are Erin Egan, Chris Hoofnagle, and Larry Magid.
About the Digital Trust Foundation
In 2007, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California against Facebook on behalf of 3.6 million users of Facebook concerning its “Beacon” program. KamberLaw represented the plaintiffs in this action and Cooley LLP represented Facebook. This suit was settled in 2009 and was granted final approval by the Hon. Richard Seeborg in March 2010. As part of the settlement, the parties created the Foundation (the Digital Trust Foundation) “the purpose of which shall be to fund projects and initiatives that promote the cause of online privacy, safety, and security.” The case settled for $9.5 million, with the Foundation receiving approximately $6.7 million after attorney’s fees, payments to plaintiffs, and administrative costs. There were four objectors to the settlement, two of whom appealed the approval to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and subsequently the Supreme Court. But ultimately, in November 2013, the appeals were rejected and the Foundation was funded. The Foundation will distribute more than $6 million and will close its doors once all of the grants have been distributed and completed.