Access Now sends digital rights demands to tech and telco firms

In April and June 2016, Access Now wrote to the heads of 16 technology and telecommunications firms outlining specific steps they can take to improve their disclosures about the policy and practices they use to safeguard digital rights. 

The letters drew on the companies' positions within the Ranking Digital Rights "Corporate Accountability Index".  Access Now tailored its recommendations for each company, asking them to ensure they encrypt wherever possible, report wherever meaningful, and provide remedy whenever necessary.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre also invited the companies to respond.  Access Now's letters, the company responses and non-responses - and follow-up by Access Now are below.

Letters and responses / non-responses:

America Movil: letter - has not responded

AT&T: letter - response 

Axiata: letter - response

Bharti Airtel: letter - has not responded

Etisalat: letter - has not responded

Google: letter - response

Facebook: letter - response

Kakao: letter - response

Mail.Ru: letter - response

Microsoft: letter - response

MTN: letter - response

Orange: letter - response

Tencent: letter - has not responded

Twitter: letter - response

Vodafone: letter - response

Yahoo!: letter - response

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All components of this story

Company response
4 August 2016

Twitter response - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: Twitter

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Company response
13 July 2016

Facebook response - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: Facebook

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Company response
5 July 2016

AT&T - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: AT&T

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Company response
29 June 2016

Google response - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: Google

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Company response
27 June 2016

Microsoft response - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: Microsoft

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Company response
27 June 2016

Yahoo! response - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Author: Yahoo!

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Article
18 May 2016

Tech titans respond to demands to improve transparency around privacy and free expression

Author: Access Now

Original publication date: 11 May 2016

This week six global tech companies — including Vodafone and Kakao — responded to letters from Access Now demanding that they increase transparency around digital rights such as privacy and free expression.

The responses come in the midst of the companies’ Annual General Meetings, their yearly check-in with shareholders. The companies —Axiata, Kakao, Mail.Ru, MTN, Orange, and Vodafone — are based as far afield as South Korea, Russia, South Africa, and France and some responded to questions on these critical issues for the first time. Many provided meaningful responses to key questions raised by a powerful new Corporate Accountability Index developed by the Ranking Digital Rights project...

Even the highest-ranking companies have considerable room to improve when it comes to protecting their customers’ fundamental rights. For example, the top-ranked company, Google, scored only 65 out of 100. This year, Access Now worked closely with London-based Business and Human Rights Resources Centre to reach out to these companies with formal letters explaining that fundamental rights are under attack — online as well as offline — and that tech companies must play a role in protecting them. Another four companies — América Móvil, Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, and Tencent  did not respond to the letters despite numerous requests. Access Now will be pressuring the companies in the months to come...

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Article
14 May 2016

Tencent Shareholders: Have you checked your company's digital rights record?

Author: Access Now

Dear Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price, and BlackRock,

The messaging and social networking apps Tencent creates count among the most popular in the world. Yet hundreds of millions of users remain in the dark about whether the company respects their rights to freedom of expression and privacy. As major shareholders, you can tell Tencent to adopt a human rights policy and respond to our letter. Trust in Tencent in China and abroad is at stake. We urge you to demand Tencent opens up today!...

 

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Company non-response
13 May 2016

América Móvil did not respond - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited America Movil to respond to a letter from Access Now regarding its placement in Ranking Digital Rights' Corporate Accountability Index.  America Movil has not responded.

Company non-response
13 May 2016

Bharti Airtel did not respond - Access Now letter on Ranking Digital Rights

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Bharti Airtel to respond to a letter from Access Now regarding its placement in Ranking Digital Rights' Corporate Accountability Index.  Bharti Airtel has not responded.