Ranking Digital Rights: Internet & telecommunications companies ranked on freedom of expression & privacy

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Article
26 September 2017

2017 Corporate Accountability Index on digital rights reveals cos. do not disclose enough information to users

Author: Ranking Digital Rights (USA)

"Ranking Digital Rights: 2017 Corporate Accountability Index", 20 Sep 2017

Together, the companies evaluated...offer products and services...used by at least half of the world’s 3.7 billion internet usersWe regret to report that companies do not disclose enough information to...users about policies and practices affecting freedom of expression and privacy. As a result, most of the world’s internet users lack the information they need to make informed choices. Company disclosure is inadequate across the board. [T]he average score...was just 33 percent. The highest score...was 65 percent overall. While examples of good practice can be found across the Index, all companies failed to sufficiently disclose policies affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy. Even the better performing companies had significant gaps... [M]any companies made meaningful improvements since the 2015 Index. Google and Microsoft were the only companies...to score more than 60 percent overall... Google's lead...narrowed since 2015, while Microsoft moved from third to second place... When companies work together and with stakeholders to implement human rights commitments, they can make a real difference. [M]any of the top-scoring companies...are members of either the Global Network Initiative or the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue, organizations whose...members commit to uphold...freedom of expression and privacy. [Refers to Apple, AT&T, Kakao, Samsung, Telefonica, Vodafone].

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Article
26 September 2017

New briefing informs investors about potential material risks related to digital rights

Author: Ranking Digital Rights (USA)

"Poor Digital Rights Performance - Who Pays the Price?", 20 Sep 2017

Digital rights provide a framework for evaluating risks associated with the management and use of content and personal data by companies that provide highly valued digital services upon which people increasingly depend... The financial implications of digital rights issues are growing rapidly, reshaping how investors should think about risk profiles of companies.... The highest risk issues for investors identified by the Corporate Accountability Index were: Security breaches and the lack of clarity about measures to secure user data; Erratic disclosure of privacy protections and inadequate policies for responsible handling of user data; and Failure to address growing demands by governments to shut down networks in the developing world...Users are already paying a price, with implications for investors.This research note introduces global investors to the evaluation framework, analysis and data produced by Ranking Digital Rights, which ranks the world’s most important internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies on disclosed policies affecting users’ privacy and freedom of expression. 

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Article
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Author: Delphine Cuny, L'Obs et Rue 89 (France)

« Google protégerait mieux vos « droits numériques » que Facebook », 4 novembre 2015

Le meilleur garant de la liberté d’expression et du respect de la vie privée en ligne serait donc Google  ? C’est ce qu’il ressort d’un classement établi après plus de deux ans d’études par le groupe de réflexion New America Foundation… Ce « Ranking Digital Rights » attribue dans l’ensemble de mauvaises notes aux seize géants du Web et des télécoms passés au crible, en particulier à Facebook…Cette initiative à but non lucratif, [est] destinée à promouvoir la liberté d’expression et le respect de la vie privée – «  des droits de l’homme qui s’étendent au champ numérique  »…Le classement s’appuie sur différents standards tels que les « principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’homme  » de l’ONU et les grands engagements de la Global Network Initiative…«…Nous espérons que cet index conduira à plus de transparence de la part des entreprises, ce qui peut donner le pouvoir aux utilisateurs de faire des choix éclairés dans la façon dont ils se servent des technologies. » [a déclaré la directrice du projet]…[Fait aussi référence à AT&T, Axiata, Etisalat, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Orange, Vodafone, Yahoo]

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Article
3 November 2015

"If this was a test, nearly everyone failed": how tech giants deny your digital rights

Author: Sam Thielman, Guardian (UK)

Your rights around your own information are too often ignored, said MacKinnon and her team. With large-scale data theft in the news nearly every day, consumers are starting to realize that it’s vital to understand how businesses agree to treat that data. Corporate disclosure notices and user agreements are written for regulators and tech lawyers. How can normal people make informed choices?...If censorship and privacy are simply left to corporate discretion, the results can be devastating. Yahoo settled out of court in 2007 after a human rights group sued the company for outing a Chinese dissident who was subsequently tortured...AT&T made domestic spying possible – and easy – over decades of collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA), a partnership revealed by Edward Snowden...MacKinnon wants to see users protected by commitments to generally agreed-upon universal digital rights. But there are impediments to that progress and they aren’t all simple self-interest: legal obligations prevent tech companies from disclosing vital information...The companies investigated by the index scored universally low on one important privacy metric: how well they inform consumers whether their information has been turned over to a government...

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Article
3 November 2015

Full index

ranking digital rights - full index

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Article
4 November 2015

Ranking Digital Rights 2015 Corporate Accountability Index finds there are "no winners"

Author: Rebecca Mackinnon, Ranking Digital Rights

The Ranking Digital Rights 2015 Corporate Accountability Index shines a needed spotlight on corporate practices around freedom of expression and privacy.  We found that many of the world’s most powerful Internet and telecommunications companies fail to disclose key information about practices affecting users’ rights...For the inaugural Index, Ranking Digital Rights analyzed a representative group of 16 companies that collectively hold the power to shape the digital lives of billions of people across the globe. Leading global ESG research and ratings provider, Sustainalytics, co-developed the methodology...Overall, Google ranked highest among Internet companies, while the U.K.-based Vodafone ranked highest among telecommunications companies, despite significant deficiencies...[Refers to América Movil, AT&T, Axiata, Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, Facebook, Google, Kakao, Mail.ru, Microsoft, MTN, Orange, Tencent, Twitter, Vodafone, Yahoo!]

Findings

Recommendations

Full index

Methodology

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