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Article

Vigeo analyses technology companies' dilemma between legal responsibilities & protection of users’ privacy

"ICTs under scrutiny for breaching user privacy", 01 Mar 2015

Information and communication technology (ICT) companies are being increasingly confronted to a dilemma between their legal and social responsibilities. On the hand, they must abide by laws and administrative requirements in the countries where they operate. This means allowing access to their infrastructures and databases containing private data of their clients as part of countries’ exigencies…On the other hand, the social responsibility of these companies entails the prevention of violations as well as complicity in violations to human rights, such as the right to privacy, freedom of expression and the protection of private data…ICT companies continue to face the negative reputational impacts related to failures in protecting users’ private data…Issues related to violations of the human right to privacy and freedom of expression are analysed by Vigeo within the Human Rights domain under the 'Respect for the right to privacy and freedom of expression' sustainability driver…In the face of mass surveillance programmes, transparency, formalised policies to protect users’ private data and measures such as the scrutiny of governmental requests before passing client data…seem to remain the best tools at the disposition of ICT companies to insure the respect of the right to privacy…[Refers to AOL, Apple, AT&T, BT, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Orange, Skype (part of Microsoft), Twitter, Verizon, Vodafone, Yahoo!]