IGF 2023 WS #438 Addressing Corporate Accountability in the Majority World

Organizer 1: Leandro Ucciferri, Ranking Digital Rights
Organizer 2: Anna Lee Nabors, Ranking Digital Rights
Organizer 3: Malavika Jayaram, 🔒

Speaker 1: Montserrat Legorreta, Civil Society, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 2: Malavika Jayaram, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: KS Park, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Leandro Ucciferri, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Anna Lee Nabors, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Anna Lee Nabors, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1) How is emerging regulation around algorithmic transparency impacting business practices in different regions?
2) What methods and stakeholder engagement strategies have companies used in responding to the needs of contexts outside the US and Europe?
3) In the absence of government regulations, what are the best practices that companies can do to step up for users and the respect of their rights?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain insights about the Ranking Digital Rights corporate accountability methodology adaptations in different contexts and take away a range of strategies for their own contexts. It's an opportunity to think together about how to best shift western centric normative frameworks, as well as agree on potential courses of action to engage with companies in a productive conversation that can result in the improvement of their policies and practices to respect human rights. We hope the session can inspire new collaborations and strategies to hold multinational and local tech companies to account.


While much of the conversation on transparency and accountability revolves within the bubble of US and EU institutions and frameworks, there continues to be a disproportionate focus on big and international tech companies. Meanwhile, companies with country-focused operations in the Majority World continue to leverage the same problematic business models and practices as their Global North counterparts, flying under the radar and getting a free pass on scrutiny from the internet governance community of stakeholders.

During this roundtable session, we will share the findings, lessons learned, and challenges faced by local and regional civil society organizations that have adapted the Ranking Digital Rights' Corporate Accountability methodology to their own contexts across South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. These research initiatives have put the spotlight on prominent digital services and telecommunications companies with diversifying business operations, posing new risks and harms.

The roundtable will:
(a) Present research findings from studies that applied the Ranking Digital Rights Corporate Accountability methodology to tech company operations. Including in countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Korea.
(b) Discuss the dynamics of corporate relationships between parent companies and their subsidiaries, including how this affects/changes/influences compliance with the UNGPs and regional work surrounding human rights due diligence.
(c) Invite reflections on the state of platform accountability in different countries and regional contexts.
(d) Identify gaps and opportunities in enhancing platform disclosures.
(e) Identify emerging areas of technology applications and business operations that demand newer forms of disclosure.

Expected Outcomes

a) Enhanced understanding: Participants will gain insights into the corporate accountability practices of companies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, enabling a better understanding of the existing landscape and identifying areas for improvement.

b) Advocacy strategies: Participants will discuss and develop strategies for advocating corporate accountability, including engagement with companies, policy recommendations, and awareness campaigns.

c) Future research agenda: The session will contribute to shaping a future research agenda, identifying key areas of focus and potential partnerships to further investigate and monitor corporate accountability practices across all corners of the world.

Hybrid Format: To facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees, we will have a moderator in-person, together with a second moderator focused on the online participants, to ensure a smooth coordination for the interventions and to provide equal opportunities to voice thoughts, comments and questions. Online participants will be able to submit questions and comments via a dedicated chat channel, which will be presented to the onsite audience by the moderator.