Business warned over human rights violations following data breaches
Following PRISMgate where companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft were accused of allowing intelligence services to access their servers to retrieve data about users, Vigeo has warned of the reputational and legal risks these allegations represent.
The issue of privacy breach is analysed in Vigeo's rating framework within the Human Rights domain under the "Respect for Human Rights standards and prevention of violations" sustainability driver. Since the story broke, Vigeo has analysed the management systems of the companies involved according to the relevance of their policies, the coherence and efficiency of implementation and the effectiveness of results. As a result, Vigeo has downgraded all the company's scores in the Human Rights sustainability driver.
Fouad Benseddik, director of methods and institutional relations at responsible performance monitor Vigeo, commented: “This serious case shows that the corporate responsibility of preventing the violation of human rights and the privacy rights of company's customers does not arise only in authoritarian regimes, but also in democratic countries. Companies must respect "the right to know" of their customers and at least inform them in a clear and intelligible way that their communications can be observed and monitored by public authorities.”