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.