06/25/2022

Big Tech Continues To Ignore Privacy Concerns, Free Expression, Discrimination: Report

April 28, 2022 – The world’s most powerful Big Tech companies continue to ignore concerns about privacy, free expression, and discrimination for billions of people around the world, according to the Ranking Digital Rights 2022 Big Tech Scorecard, released on April 27.

The Big Tech Scorecard ranks leading tech giants – including Apple, Google, and Meta – based on how they perform on over 300 aspects of company policies that affect human rights. It focuses on privacy, freedom of expression and information, and corporate governance. According to the press release, no company earned a passing grade for the sixth year in a row. 

Photo: Ranking Digital Rights (RDR)

Twitter, for the second consecutive year, has grabbed the top spot for what the Scorecard has called the company’s detailed content policies and public data about moderation of user-generated content. However, it failed to provide data regarding its advertising moderation like other companies. The tweeting platform, recently bought by Tesla CEO and world’s richest man Elon Musk for $44 billion, has been termed “the best of the worst”.

There has been a notable increase in Amazon’s score from last year’s 20 percent, but it still ranks last, alongside Chinese Tencent. Among all social media platforms, Amazon earned the lowest score for explaining processes of enforcing its own content rules. 

Google is the only company that saw its score decline for the second year running and showed fewest improvements.

The Scorecard suggests that the overall average score of the companies has improved slightly. While this progress may be encouraging, it is not enough. “Their lacklustre improvement shows that companies are content to conduct business as usual when the state of the world demands anything but,” says Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) Director Jessica Dheere.  

The report adds that Big Tech executives refuse to take necessary measures to protect people and societies from the harmful impact of their products and services.

“There is growing, global consensus that Big Tech needs to be more transparent, more accountable, and more attuned to the public interest – not just profit margins and share prices,” remarks Policy Director Nathalie Maréchal. “The companies and the billionaires at their helms are going to need to decide if they’re on the side of democracy and human rights or on the side of 21st century networked authoritarianism.”

The Big Tech Scorecard was previously known as the RDR Corporate Accountability Index. It evaluates the policies of the world’s 14 leading tech corporations: Twitter, Meta, Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Samsung, Kakao, VK, and Yandex.

 

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