Responsible Technology

We believe digital technology can and should have a positive impact on society.

This belief comes from our Silicon Valley DNA.

We aspire to build a global technological ecosystem that reaches and works for everyone: One that balances innovation with responsibility, regardless of whether technology is deployed by individuals, companies, or governments.

That’s why Omidyar Network makes strategic investments and promotes ideas, technologies, and policies that help ensure a digital world that is safe, fair, and compassionate. We support organizations committed to making positive changes— and apply pressure to those that may be more resistant. In doing so, we can ensure that future technological innovation promotes well-being and individual liberty, while building in safeguards to manage its risks and unintended consequences.

What We’re Working On

Enabling an Inclusive Digital Economy Across Africa with Good ID

Omidyar Network believes the ability to formally identify ourselves is a prerequisite for individual empowerment. Digital identity enables people to access financial services and public benefits, such as food, housing, and healthcare. We support experts, organizations, agencies, data, and new technology that builds the knowledge, capacity, and incentives of African governments to develop responsible digital identity programs that respect people’s rights and sustain their basic needs. We also use our voice and partnerships with civil society to hold them accountable to good design and practices that reinforce equity, privacy, inclusion, security, and transparency.

Read our points of view on Good ID here:
All ID Must Be Good ID
Network Unpacks Good ID: An Update to Our Point of View on Digital Identity

Curbing Big Tech’s Harmful Influence

Omidyar Network works to create a fair and competitive technology ecosystem. We must rein in big tech’s power that can hurt individual well-being, liberty, and innovation. We support efforts to introduce and enforce checks and balances, contribute new evidence, act as a watchdog, and include historically marginalized voices as we collectively develop policy solutions.

Learn more about our point of view on concentrated power in the tech ecosystem here.

Fighting Disinformation and Dangerous Speech

Omidyar Network works to make encrypted messaging platforms safer, healthier, and more trustworthy. To do so, we must stop the viral spread of conspiracy theories, destabilizing hoaxes, fake news, false claims, minority-targeting speech, and organized disinformation campaigns. We educate tech companies and governments on how to preserve privacy protections while making the necessary product and policy changes.

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IDEAS WE’RE EXPLORING

Supporting the Rise of Responsible Tech Workers

Technology doesn’t build itself—technologists, coders, product managers, and tech executives decide which new products to develop. Omidyar Network is exploring the best design and management practices so that people working across all tech disciplines can build tools and cultures with equity and responsibility in mind, anticipate future risks, and have a positive impact. We support tech workers who are speaking up, organizing, pushing back, and changing the industry from the inside out, to ensure the full societal impact of their products are considered and addressed.

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Building an Equitable Data Economy

The current implicit social contract for data presumes that individuals cede control, and the benefits of individuals’ data primarily flow to tech platforms, data aggregators, and advertisers. Omidyar Network is exploring how society can reimagine this dysfunctional bargain. We are investigating several policy and business ideas that can address the systemic flaws and nudge the data economy toward equitable outcomes for everyone, not just powerful companies and governments. We are examining outdated economic frameworks and business models built on surveillance, data maximization, and manipulation to find fairer and more cooperative alternatives.

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Fueling Better Data Technologies & Business Models

Omidyar Network invests globally in emerging technology solutions and business models that reduce misinformation and bias, improve data ownership and control, and protect privacy. We invest capital in entrepreneurs, early-stage technologies, and companies that offer alternatives to surveillance capitalism models, using the next generation of technology, and establishing new norms for data collection, processing, and storage.

Expanding Digital Public Infrastructure & Data Protection Across Africa

Omidyar Network is working with African nations so they make smart choices that will protect people who are most vulnerable as they develop their digital economies. This includes backing open-source technologies with stronger safeguards, championing robust data privacy laws, and encouraging broad community participation in decision making.

Other Ideas

Coming Soon.