2018 Companies

In 2015, Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) launched its inaugural Corporate Accountability Index, which ranked 16 Internet and telecommunications companies.

For the 2017 Index, RDR expanded the ranking to 22 companies, which included all of the companies ranked in the 2015 Index as well as six new companies. In addition to Internet and telecommunications companies, the 2017 Index included companies that create mobile devices and products we call makers of “mobile ecosystems.”

The 2018 Index evaluates the same 22 companies as the 2017 Index.

Companies are selected based on several factors, including geographic reach and the diversity of markets in which the companies are headquartered and operating.

Internet and mobile companies: These company types are evaluated together because Google is both an internet company and is also a mobile ecosystem company, and Apple also offers services such as iMessage and iCloud. We do not evaluate hardware attributes of devices, focusing our assessment on disclosures pertaining to the newest devices offered by those companies and their operating systems. The freedom of expression and privacy issues faced by mobile cloud data and operating systems overlap with the issues faced by traditional internet services. Additional elements relevant only to mobile ecosystems are added to some indicators. For each company we examined up to four services, as follows:

  • Apple (US) — iOS mobile ecosystem, iMessage, iCloud
  • Baidu (China)  — Baidu Search, Baidu Cloud, Baidu PostBar
  • Facebook (US) —  Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger
  • Mail.Ru (Russia)  —  VKontakte, Mail.Ru email, Mail.Ru Agent
  • Microsoft (US)  — Bing, Outlook.com, Skype
  • Kakao (South Korea)  — Daum Search, Daum Mail, KakaoTalk
  • Google (US) — Search, Gmail, YouTube, Android mobile ecosystem
  • Samsung (South Korea) — Samsung implementation of Android
  • Tencent (China) — QZone, QQ, WeChat
  • Twitter (US) —  Twitter, Periscope
  • Yahoo (US)  — Yahoo Mail, Flickr, Tumblr
  • Yandex (Russia) — Yandex Mail, Yandex Search, Yandex Disk (cloud storage)

Telecommunications companies: For these companies we evaluate global group-level policies for relevant indicators plus the home-country operating subsidiary’s pre-paid and post-paid mobile service, and fixed-line broadband service where offered, as follows:

  • América Móvil (Mexico)
  • AT&T (US)
  • Axiata (Malaysia)
  • Bharti Airtel (India)
  • Etisalat (UAE)
  • MTN (South Africa)
  • Ooredoo (Qatar)
  • Orange (France)  
  • Telefónica (Spain)
  • Vodafone (UK)

[last updated 25 July 2017]