World’s top Internet companies and telcos rated on protection of users’ digital rights
How much does a tech company value your digital rights? The Ranking Digital Rights project has launched its first Corporate Accountability Index to find that out. For studying the digital rights given by tech companies, Ranking Digital Rights has including 16 leading Internet and telecommunications companies who were evaluated on the protection they offered their users’ digital rights. A total of 31 indicators were taken into account, in an attempt to rate each company’s policies and practices that affect users’ freedom of expression and privacy.
And the results are pretty dismal. Only six companies out of the 16 put to test, scored at least 50 percent of the total possible points to indicate that they have good digital protection mechanism. Out of the six, Google was a distant leader with the highest score of 65 percent. It is followed by Yahoo with 50 percent, Microsoft with 50 percent and Twitter making it at 50 percent.
The index shows that nearly half the companies in the Index scored less than 25 percent, “showing a serious deficit of respect for users’ freedom of expression and privacy,” according to the project.
Alongside Google, the other Internet companies were (in order of their ranking):
- Yahoo (58 percent)
- Microsoft (56)
- Twitter (50)
- South Korean mobile apps company Kakao (47)
- Facebook (41)
- Chinese giant Tencent (16 percent)
- Russian Mail.Ru (13).
For the telecom companies the indexing is given below :
- Vodafone had the highest score (54 percent)
- AT&T (50)
- Orange (37)
- Mexican company América Móvil (22 percent)
- MTN (18)
- Bharti Airtel (17)
- Axiata (16)
- Etisalat (14)
In general, Internet companies fared better than the leading telecoms players, although the worst scores for both categories were about the same.
The Ranking Digital Rights has included 31 indicators three main categories:commitment, freedom of expression, and privacy. An extended research process was employed, but the local laws, regulations, and political situation were not included. As Ranking Digital Rights writes: “the Index evaluates companies on what they do or don’t do, regardless of the reason. However, narrative profiles for each company include an analysis of how the company’s home jurisdiction’s legal, regulatory, and political environment may have affected its score.”
The project hopes the ranking will prove to be a “a powerful tool for investors, consumers, policymakers, and companies themselves to identify best practices.” In addition, Ranking Digital Rights provides a chance to the companies who are lagging in the Index to make it up and provide suitable protection to the users in future.