The three founding Global Network Initiative (GNI) companies—Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!—have undergone the first independent assessments to determine how they are implementing their GNI commitments so far. This was the world's first independent assessment of corporate policies and procedures in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry to address freedom of expression and privacy rights.
These assessments demonstrate that the companies are putting into place the necessary policies and processes to implement the GNI Principles. The non-company participants, including civil society organizations, responsible investors and academics experts, found the process rigorous and credible. The companies found the use of independent assessors a useful learning process in refining their policies and procedures. Although challenges remain, the findings and subsequent discussions lay the basis for further improvements. The companies expressed determination to continue to develop their practices and work with all participants in the process.
Further detail about the assessments will be contained in GNI's second annual report to be published in Spring 2012.
GNI is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics, who have created a collaborative approach to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector. GNI provides resources for ICT companies to help them address difficult issues related to freedom of expression and privacy that they may face anywhere in the world. GNI has created a framework of principles and a confidential, collaborative approach to working through challenges of corporate responsibility in the ICT sector.