On Wednesday 25 April, the Ranking Digital Rights Project (RDR) launched its third Corporate Accountability Index – ranking 22 of the world’s largest Internet, mobile and telecommunications companies on their publicly stated commitments to free expression and privacy. With 35 indicators in the categories of governance, freedom of expression, and privacy, the standards used to measure companies in the Index build on GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as on emerging global norms about data protection, security, and access to information.

Those GNI member companies included in the Index were top performers, with Facebook, Google, Oath, and Microsoft holding the top four scores for Internet companies, and Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone holding three of the top four scores for telecommunications companies. Furthermore, GNI’s telecommunications companies demonstrated the largest margins of improvements in the sector. For details on year-on-year changes for each company, click here.

GNI Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg said, “as GNI continues to strive to set a standard for free expression and privacy in the ICT sector, gaining the support of leaders in the digital rights space is crucial. Although we recognize the concerns identified in the report and the need to address them, GNI is inspired by the favorable trajectory of member companies, as reflected in the 2018 Index.”

During the global launch, RDR Director Rebecca MacKinnon highlighted that “we are seeing much more thorough governance structures and practices in place among Global Network Initiative companies than other companies.” GNI members held the top 7 scores in the governance category, which measures indicators such as outlined policies and procedures on free expression and privacy, governance and management oversight, the performance of impact assessments, and stakeholder engagement reflected in GNI members’ core commitments.

To watch the international launch of the Index, click here. Also, see the executive summary and full report, and check out the social media toolkit.

Read more about the core commitments GNI member companies undertake.