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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RDR in Slate’s Future Tense blog

The following story, written by Priya Kumar, originally appeared in Slate’s Future Tense blog. When Was the Last Time You Read a Privacy Policy? Tech companies know that everyone skips the fine print. It’s time for them to change approaches. At one point last fall, I had 16 tabs open on my Web browser, each […]

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Last week, Ranking Digital Rights participated in PrivacyCamp and the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels. Two issues dominated the discussions: government mass surveillance, especially in light of the Schrems Safe Harbor decision (PDF), and the new EU General Data Protection Regulation. Participants also discussed corporate practices and their impact on privacy. […]

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RDR Media Mentions


As we settle into the new year, RDR and its Index continue to make the news. Rebecca MacKinnon wrote an op-ed for CNN arguing that as technology companies face greater pressure to monitor and censor communication, we risk losing the ability to use such platforms for social justice, activism, and journalism. Priya Kumar wrote the […]

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RDR in the News


Since its release in early November, the Ranking Digital Rights inaugural Corporate Accountability Index has received worldwide media attention, demonstrating global interest in corporate respect for users’ rights. In coordination with the launch of the Index on November 3rd, The Guardian newspaper published two in-depth analyses of the Index data and its implications: World’s biggest […]

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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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