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Ranking Digital Rights publishes Spring 2021 Investor Update calling for focus on accountability

"Investors need an updated digital rights playbook for 2021", 21 April 2021

Market bubble or no bubble, tech giants’ market dominance will be challenged in 2021. This is no time for corporate boilerplate answers to digital rights questions. It is critical for investors to focus on accountability by requiring credible disclosure of the tangible steps that companies are taking to identify and address digital rights risks.

The results are in: The world’s most important tech companies are failing to meet key metrics of corporate governance and accountability around privacy, security, content, and information risks to users and societies. The 2020 Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) Corporate Accountability Index, released in February 2021, reveals that while more companies are making broad claims about their commitments to digital rights, none offers adequate evidence of implementation. Companies near the top of the RDR Index are still failing in important areas of governance and accountability around their digital rights risks. As a result, users and investors are exposed to risks that companies themselves are failing to track—or even understand.

Drawing on our latest findings, we encourage investors to focus on the following three areas in 2021 to advance corporate respect for digital rights:

  1. Push companies to prepare for more regulation by committing to strengthen digital rights governance and accountability...
  2. Look for reporting and disclosure of digital rights risks that stem from companies’ business models and growth prospects...
  3. Raise the bar on emerging market holdings where investors have a clear opportunity for impact...