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UN Forum Series Blog: Competition, Collaboration, and Corporate Accountability Rankings

Tech companies are in a tough sport when it comes to censorship and surveillance...In some cases, such as Tim Cook’s strong stance on encryption or the launch of Microsoft’s cloud services from German datacenters, it appears companies are competing with each other to offer more privacy. But the industry is also collaborating, for example, collectively lobbying the U.S. government to pass the USA FREEDOM Act through the Reform Government Surveillance coalition...Many companies have a strong aversion to being ranked on human rights or other non-financial issues...The Ranking Digital Rights index demonstrates the same potential for competitive collaboration on freedom of expression and privacy rights. It is not accident that the top three performing companies are the founding members of the Global Network Initiative...We have already seen constructive competition among tech firms in offering new features and greater disclosures as part of company transparency reports, and we can expect accelerating improvements along these lines going forward.

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