Investor Statement on Corporate Accountability for Digital Rights
The past year has put a spotlight on the unchecked power of technology companies contributing to the proliferation of misinformation and viral hate speech, increased levels of illegal surveillance including that which enables immigration policing, attacks on democracy, the censorship of dissident voices, and discrimination against marginalized communities, including racial and gender discrimination due to artificial intelligence and algorithmic bias.
Companies in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector must be held accountable for their policies and practices that affect people’s right to freedom of expression and privacy.
In response, 76 investors and their representatives representing over US$5.85 trillion in assets under management have signed onto the Investor Statement on Corporate Accountability for Digital Rights to leading companies in the ICT sector, outlining investor expectations in line with the evaluation and recommendation of the 2020 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index. The 26 companies will receive the letter in the coming weeks. Investors are increasingly utilizing benchmark reports like the RDR Index as a tool that provides a roadmap supporting companies in meeting their human rights responsibilities and helps investors identify and assess digital rights risks in their portfolios.
The 2020 Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability Index, the fifth RDR Index since 2015, evaluated 26 of the world’s most powerful digital platforms and telecommunications companies on their publicly disclosed commitments and policies affecting privacy and freedom of expression and information. The companies assessed (listed below) held a combined market capitalization of more than USD $11 trillion. Their products and services affect a majority of the world’s 4.6 billion internet users. You can view the full company profiles and scores here.
• Verizon Media
• América Móvil
• Bharti Airtel
• Deutsche Telekom
We will publish our press release on this initiative here in the coming weeks.