Archives for June 2015

2015 Corporate Accountability Index: On track for November release!

Building on two years of research, consultation, and testing, we are excited to announce that research is now in full swing for the 2015 Corporate Accountability Index.

The Index, to be unveiled in early November, will evaluate 16 telecommunication and Internet companies headquartered around the world on 31 indicators examining policies and disclosures affecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

Data collection and analysis is being carried out by members of the RDR team, our research partner Sustainalytics, and a group of international researchers. We are following a rigorous multi-step process including peer review and company review.

The Index, its data, and other findings from the research will be displayed on an interactive website which will include data visualizations, company profiles, and a narrative report.

The indicators and research process have undergone substantial changes since the 2014 pilot study, through which we learned many important lessons. Detailed feedback received on the pilot through in-person and online consultations with experts and stakeholders helped us make some difficult decisions about what would be possible given our resource constraints. We are also indebted to a number of individuals who took the time to provide comments on several draft revisions, as well as feedback from our research partners at Sustainalytics.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our funders and partners, many of whom have been working with us throughout the two-year process of research, development, and consultation necessary to produce a rigorous and credible index of companies.

In the run-up to November’s launch we will be reaching out to potential media partners and strategizing with advocacy groups, investors, and others who want to be prepared to use the Index in their work as soon as it comes out.


2015 Corporate Accountability Index


On November 3rd 2015, the Ranking Digital Rights project will launch the first annual Corporate Accountability Index. (Click here for more details on how to join us in person or online!)

The index will rank 16 of the world’s largest Internet and telecommunications companies according to 31 indicators focused on corporate disclosure of commitments, policies and practices that affect users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

Why is this Index needed? Internet and telecommunications companies, along with mobile device and networking equipment manufacturers, exert growing influence over the political and civil lives of people all over the world. These companies share a responsibility to respect human rights.  

The data produced by the Index will inform the work of human rights advocates, policymakers, and responsible investors. It will also help companies improve their own policies and practices.

This website has documented all stages of our work since we started research and consultations in early 2013. In 2014 we conducted a pilot study to test out the methodology and research protocols before implementing the full public ranking. For more detailed information about our work plan, timeline, and methodology please click on the menus and links at the top of the page. Recent developments are described in blog posts linked from the right-hand menu.

Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant

Shuttleworth Funded

Last month I received an e-mail out of the blue from the Shuttleworth Foundation, informing me that one of their fellows had nominated me for a “flash grant” of $5000. The only string attached is to “tell us and the world what you have done with the money.”

I have applied this flash grant to support research now being carried out by University of Pennsylvania doctoral student Tim Libert, examining U.S.-based Internet companies for our inaugural ranking to be released in November.

Thank you Shuttleworth Foundation!!

More details on the companies we are ranking and the methodology being used to rank them will be announced next week, so stay tuned!