How tech companies compare at protecting your digital rights

social media.png

(William Iven, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Rosamond Hutt, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Microsoft has edged past Google to reach the top of a ranking that grades the world’s tech giants on their respect for internet users’ rights.

The 2019 Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) Index evaluates 24 of the world’s most powerful internet, mobile and telecommunications companies on their publicly disclosed commitments and policies affecting freedom of expression and privacy.

Microsoft’s number one position among internet and mobile ecosystem companies (firms that produce software and networked devices) is mainly due to “strong governance and consistent application” of privacy policies across the four services – Bing, Outlook.com, Skype and OneDrive – evaluated in the study.

Google and Verizon Media are tied for second place, and Facebook maintained fourth position. Until toppled by Microsoft this year, Google had held on to the top spot since the first RDR Index in 2015.

In the ranking of telecommunications companies, Telefónica overtook last year’s leader Vodafone. The Spanish multinational disclosed significantly more than other firms in the ranking about policies affecting freedom of expression and privacy, according to the study’s authors.

Image: 2019 RDR Corporate Accountability Index ranking

Low scores

More than half of the world’s 4.3 billion internet users use digital platforms and services provided by the 24 companies in the 2019 index.

But when it comes to respecting their users’ human rights, even the leading companies are falling short in key areas.

Across the world people are in the dark about how their personal information is collected, secured and used and what they can and cannot say online.

Although the situation has improved, and many companies are disclosing more about their policies and practices relating to privacy and freedom of expression, they still have further to go to meet their responsibility to protect users’ rights, the report’s authors say.

Only eight of the 24 companies in the index scored 50% or above.

“If people lack the information necessary to understand how state and non-state actors exert power through digital platforms and services, it is impossible not only to protect human rights – but to sustain open and democratic societies,” they write.

“Transparency is essential in order for people to know when users’ freedom of expression or privacy rights are violated either directly by – or indirectly through – companies’ platforms and services, let alone identify who should be held responsible.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

MEPs spell out their priorities for the Digital Services Act

What is carbon offsetting?

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders ready for talks with UN chief on improved relations

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

Iraq: UN mission urges ‘maximum restraint’ following deadly attack on foreign troops

Statement by Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, on the successful conclusion of the final discussions on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) – Brussels, 08 Dec 2017. (Copyright: European Union; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Georges Boulougouris)

The EU and Japan seal free trade pact that will cover 30% of global GDP

Malta: investigation risks being compromised while Prime Minister is in office

Parliament condemns all forms of racism, hate and violence and calls for action

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

Free and secure access needed in DR Congo conflict zone to tackle Ebola – WHO

Long-term EU budget: The Union’s ambitions must be matched with sufficient reliable funding

State aid: Commission approves market conform asset protection scheme for banks in Greece

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

Brexit uncertainty keeps shaking the world’s financial markets

Big oil’s climate pledges will fail without workforce equality

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

Protecting the Treaties in the interest of all Europeans: the College takes solemn oath to serve the EU

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

The Council unblocks all EU budgets

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

WHO working to save lives following powerful earthquake in Albania

One Health approach to combating Antimicrobial Resistance – how can professionals from different backgrounds unite in this common fight?

West Bank: ‘imminent’ demolition of Palestinian village could be ‘war crime’ – ICC Prosecutor

Silicon Valley can do more to achieve the #GlobalGoals

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

EU voters not interested in the European Parliament elections. What’s behind this European Titanic?

More women than ever are working in Hollywood, but men still dominate key roles

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

EU-UK Statement following the High Level Meeting on 15 June

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Commission publishes EU Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online continues to deliver results

How digital remittances can help drive sustainable development

European Semester 2019 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

Yemen: Tackling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis

The technological revolution has changed the way of saving lives

UK Labour Party leader Corbyn readies to change Brexit political backdrop

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

Eurozone plans return to growth

Internet Forum: Prioritize technologies most needed for sustainable development

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

The Ecofin Council creates officially the clan of ‘undead’ banks

LGBTQI+ and medicine

UN health agency to gauge global threat, as China confirms coronavirus transmission between humans

Elections results: Austerity’s black to prevail in the new multicolored German government

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

Why vaccines are not just for children

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

3 ways to make the 2020s the decade we close the gender gap

Liaison Officer – 2020

GSMA Announces Speakers for Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS 2018

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

In Washington D.C., Guterres signs pact with World Bank, meets US President Trump

UN chief expresses ‘full confidence’ in top Somalia official following Government expulsion

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s