The Ranking Digital Rights 2015 Corporate Accountability Index is now online!

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.

Click here to watch the archived webcast of our launch event at Civic Hall in New York City at 10:00am EST (1500 UTC/GMT), courtesy of the Internet Society. Join the ongoing conversation by following @rankingrights and #rankingrights on Twitter.

Even the companies that ranked highest are missing the mark in some ways, and improvements are needed across the board to demonstrate a greater commitment to users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

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.

Eight publicly listed Internet companies and eight publicly listed telecommunications companies were selected based on factors including geographic reach and diversity, user base, company size, and market share. These companies were assessed on 31 indicators across three categories – commitment, freedom of expression, and privacy – drawn heavily from international human rights frameworks, as well as emerging and established global principles for privacy and freedom of expression.

The research revealed a deep need for improvement:

  • Only six companies scored at least 50 percent of the total possible points;
  • The overall highest score was only 65 percent;
  • Nearly half the companies in the Index scored less than 25 percent, showing a serious deficit of respect for users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

Overall, Google ranked highest among Internet companies, while the U.K.-based Vodafone ranked highest among telecommunications companies, despite significant deficiencies.

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How will people use the Index? Brainstorming at the IGF

YouTube video of 2015 IGF workshop Benchmarking ICT companies on digital rights

After a series of launch events in the U.S., the RDR Corporate Accountability Index took to the global stage earlier this month as members of the RDR team presented the Index’s results at the Internet Governance Forum, an opportunity to engage with civil society advocates, researchers, government officials and private sector representatives from around the […]

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RDR @ the IGF

This year Ranking Digital Rights has a strong presence at the Internet Governance Forum, being held this coming week in João Pessoa, Brazil. We will be presenting the results of the Corporate Accountability Index and also engaging in broader discussions about standards for government and industry related to human rights and the Internet. An interactive schedule for the entire conference can be found […]

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Kicking off the conversation


At Tuesday’s launch event for the Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index, project director Rebecca MacKinnon presented the Index’s findings and joined a panel discussion with Peter Micek, global policy and legal counsel at Access Now, and Ellery Biddle, director of Global Voices Advocacy. Moderating the discussion was Micah Sifry, co-founder and executive director of […]

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Launching November 3rd in New York City! Join us online or in person.

Please join us on November 3rd at 10am U.S. Eastern time for the launch of the inaugural Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index! Click here to RSVP for the event at Civic Hall in New York City – or watch the live webcast and join the conversation through social media. The Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index ranks 16 of the world’s most powerful Internet […]

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