The powerful internet communications and technology (ICT) sector has had significant transformative effects on other sectors and people’s daily lives. But in addition to the positive impacts, such as increasing access to information and services, this has led to unexpected harms and new challenges.
These include the spreading of hate speech and the dissemination of false or misleading information, as well as violent, racist, or extremist content on social media, which can lead to devastating real-world outcomes. The commoditisation of data also poses risks to privacy rights.
With legislators now seeking to crack down on the unfettered virtual world, companies are facing fresh regulatory risk, while reputational and financial risks are likely to grow. Companies must be prepared to balance freedom of expression with their obligations to remove problematic content while addressing government demands and regulations imposing censorship.
We have developed our own Digital Rights Principles, which identify the issues that ICT companies should consider when fulfilling their broader obligations to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These build on our previous work in this area, including our white paper on responsible artificial intelligence and data governance.
Read the full article in our Q1 Public Engagement Report.