Protecting human rights through technology
As technology proliferates in our daily lives, so too do concerns around its long-term societal impacts, including data security, privacy, and the spread of controversial or dangerous information.
Since 2018, we have engaged a tech giant over the long-term societal and ethical impacts of its technologies. Along with an international coalition of like-minded investors, we filed a shareholder proposal in 2020 requesting that the board of directors establish a societal risk oversight committee and, in its wake, we were pleased to see the company make some improvements, including expanding the charter of its Audit Committee to explicitly oversee sustainability and human rights risks.
However, with the ever-expanding scale and risks of technology platforms, we again filed a shareholder proposal in December 2021, this time geared towards the human rights impacts of its content management policies and management of misinformation and disinformation. At the company’s annual meeting in June, our proposal was supported by over 60% of the company’s unaffiliated voting shareholders, a signal that we hope prompt the company to take meaningful action in the near future.