Overview on the Industry Dialogue

The Telecommunications Industry Dialogue is a group of global telecommunications operators and vendors who jointly address freedom of expression and privacy rights in the telecommunications sector. The Industry Dialogue is guided by the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The member companies of the Industry Dialogue are: Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Millicom, Nokia, Orange, Telefonica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, and Vodafone Group. These companies have a global footprint, providing telecommunications services and equipment to consumers, businesses, and governments worldwide.

On March 12, 2013 the Industry Dialogue published the “Telecommunications Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy Guiding Principles”. These principles address the issues of privacy and freedom of expression as they relate to the telecommunications sector, specifically exploring the interaction and boundaries between a government’s duty to protect human rights and the corporate responsibility of telecommunications companies to respect human rights. The Guiding Principles are available in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Turkish. The Industry Dialogue Guiding Principles cover the following issues:

  • Policy commitment
  • Raising awareness and training
  • Impact assessment and due diligence
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Process (to handle and anticipate government requests)
  • External reporting
  • Mitigating risks of governmental demands
  • Informing policy and regulations on freedom of expression and privacy
  • Employee safety and liberty
  • Grievance mechanisms

Information on how participating companies are implementing these Principles into their operations can be found here. The Industry Dialogue has also announced a two-year
collaboration with the Global Network Initiative (GNI). By working together, GNI and the Industry Dialogue aim to advance freedom of expression and privacy rights in the Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) sector more effectively.

The Industry Dialogue welcomes new members in the telecommunications industry and is open to proactive dialogue with stakeholders.

For more information please contact Lisl Brunner.

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