10 human rights priorities for the information and communications technology sector

Author: BSR, Published on: 1 November 2017

This issue brief identifies the 10 most salient human rights risks for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies, as well as opportunities for positive impact... 

1. Artificial intelligence... risks [include]...automated systems making discriminatory decisions (such as in housing, credit, employment, and health), the automation of jobs impacting labor rights by reducing demand for certain skills, or the misuse of personal data.

2. Internet of Things... risks [include]... the difficulty of obtaining informed consent from citizens for data use, or the need to establish privacy protocols for who has access to data, who controls data, and how data is used.

3. Encryption... Encryption provides the privacy and security necessary to exercise the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age and is especially important for human rights defenders, vulnerable populations, and whistleblowers... However, law enforcement and intelligence services are concerned that encryption makes fighting crime... tougher, and they are using public policies or hacking techniques to prohibit and fight it.

... [Other priorities include:] hate speech and countering violent extremism,... law enforcement relationships,... child rights,... customer due diligence,... non-discrimination,... raw materials sourcing,... forced and bonded labour... Top 3 opportunities for positive impact [include:]... human rights by design,... access to products and services,... human rights solutions.

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