Consumer Reports Launches New Digital Lab
New privacy venture will be funded by an initial $6 million grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Consumer Reports today announced the launch of the Digital Lab, a new initiative that will expand CR’s work on consumer privacy rights and digital security.
The project, funded in part by a $6 million initial investment from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, will help Consumer Reports develop new ways to test and report on digital products and services—from connected thermostats, to cars that collect data on their drivers, to online platforms such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
The Digital Lab will build on CR’s core strengths—product testing and research, investigative journalism, and advocacy work—on behalf of consumers. The grant is the largest single gift in the history of Consumer Reports.
“We deal with a complex set of challenges in today’s digital era, and this investment will expand Consumer Reports’ scope to address critical issues that impact consumers,” says Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and a former board member of Consumer Reports. “Consumer Reports has a strong track record—from ensuring the security of seat belts in cars to keeping toxins out of food—and this new initiative will increase transparency in the digital marketplace, bolstering consumers’ ability to have more control, more options, and stronger voices.”