Member-companies of the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and the Telecommunications Industry Dialogue (TID) are once again the ICT industry’s top performers on free expression and privacy, according to the Ranking Digital Rights 2017 Corporate Accountability Index.

Released today, the 2017 Index evaluates and ranks 22 of the world’s most powerful internet, telecommunications and mobile companies on their public commitments, polices and practices affecting their users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

GNI members Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook were awarded the top four in overall rankings for Internet companies. TID members Vodafone, AT&T (equal first), Telefónica and Orange filled the first four rankings for the telecommunications sector.

“As more people look to companies and governments to prioritize their privacy and free expression rights, the message to companies is clear – if you join GNI and work with civil society and other experts, your users and your company will benefit,” said GNI Board Chair Mark Stephens.

“When companies work together with stakeholders to implement human rights commitments, it makes a difference. GNI and TID companies performed better than all other companies evaluated in the Index on indicators measuring the extent to which companies have institutionalized their corporate-level commitments to freedom of expression and privacy,” said Ranking Digital Rights Director Rebecca MacKinnon. “We hope that the Index results serve as a roadmap for companies to further improve their policies affecting users’ rights,” she continued.

“As global challenges to freedom of expression and privacy evolve, GNI will identify new opportunities to continue to set a standard for free expression and privacy across the ICT sector,” said Mr. Stephens. “We encourage other companies from around the world that are committed to supporting free expression and privacy to join GNI,” he continued.