Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Groups Urge Congress to Protect Marginalized Communities from Discriminatory Privacy Abuses

Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Groups Urge Congress to Protect Marginalized Communities from Discriminatory Privacy Abuses

Open MIC joined 25 other civil society organizations in sending a letter to Congress calling on legislators to ensure that any federal privacy legislation addresses the discriminatory impacts of commercial data practices and protects people of color, women, religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, persons living on low income, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations.

A Win for Shareholders in Effort to Halt Sales of Amazon’s Racially Biased Surveillance Tech

A Win for Shareholders in Effort to Halt Sales of Amazon’s Racially Biased Surveillance Tech

In a major victory for investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled late yesterday that Amazon must give shareholders an opportunity to consider and vote on two separate shareholder resolutions that address major business risks posed by the sale of Amazon's facial recognition technology to government agencies. The SEC’s ruling comes amidst mounting criticism of the Amazon technology, “Rekognition,” as racially biased.

Shareholders Tell Google to Prioritize Human Rights and Rethink China Search Product

Shareholders Tell Google to Prioritize Human Rights and Rethink China Search Product

A coalition of Google shareholders has filed a resolution asking the company to publish a human rights impact assessment for a controversial censored search product -- called "Dragonfly" -- that Google is reportedly developing for use in China. Led by Azzad Asset Management, the shareholders are concerned that Google's compliance with China’s repressive laws would facilitate and legitimize surveillance and censorship, posing serious human rights risks. 

Open MIC Joins with Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Groups to Call on Congress to Address Data-Driven Discrimination

Open MIC Joins with Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Consumer Groups to Call on Congress to Address Data-Driven Discrimination

Open MIC joined with 43 civil society organizations in sending a letter to Congress calling on legislators to protect civil rights, equity, and equal opportunity in the digital ecosystem. As members of Congress continue to hold hearings and introduce legislation on digital privacy, they must address the data security and privacy abuses that disproportionately harm marginalized communities.

Shareholders Press Amazon to Stop Selling Racially Biased Surveillance Tech to Government

Shareholders Press Amazon to Stop Selling Racially Biased  Surveillance Tech to Government

Citing critical concerns over immigrant surveillance of vulnerable communities, racial profiling, and other civil and human rights violations, Amazon shareholders have filed a resolution asking the company to prohibit sales of “Rekognition”, Amazon’s facial recognition technology, to government agencies — unless the company’s Board concludes the technology does not pose actual or potential civil and human rights risk.

POLITICO Covers Google shareholder revolts over ‘Project Dragonfly’

POLITICO Covers Google shareholder revolts over ‘Project Dragonfly’

An institutional shareholder in Google is calling on the tech giant to disclose information about the risks associated with a controversial Chinese search engine product, "Project Dragonfly," that has drawn criticism from lawmakers and activists.

Azzad Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm, on Monday filed a shareholder petition asking Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., to evaluate the potential impact on investors if Google developed a censored search engine in China and to publish a report on its findings by Oct. 30, 2019.

Open MIC Releases New Report Highlighting US Tech Giants’ Double Standard on Consumer Privacy in China

Open MIC Releases New Report Highlighting US Tech Giants’ Double Standard on Consumer Privacy in China

As many U.S. tech companies — and so-called defenders of privacy and freedom of expression — work harder and harder to enter China’s booming market, they must confront their own complicity in enabling the Chinese government’s harmful policy of all-encompassing surveillance and control. Open MIC’s new report, Does Privacy Protection Have Borders? China’s Data Localization Rule and the Risks for U.S. Tech Companies, highlights this tension, revealing how U.S. tech giants have been employing a double-standard on user privacy in China compared to their operations elsewhere, endangering the lived realities of people in China and beyond.

Following Pressure From Shareholders, Facebook Board Adopts New Focus on ‘Privacy and Data Use’, ‘Community Safety’ and Cybersecurity Risks

Following Pressure From Shareholders, Facebook Board Adopts New Focus on ‘Privacy and Data Use’, ‘Community Safety’ and Cybersecurity Risks

Facebook Inc.’s Board of Directors responded to pressure from shareholders and quietly adopted important and substantial changes to the charter of one of the board’s key committees, renaming the committee and broadening its mission to include oversight of issues that have placed the social media platform at the center of global controversy, including privacy, data use, community safety and cybersecurity.

Shareholders Have Long Warned Facebook; Company Has Been In Denial For Years

Shareholders, organized in part by Open MIC, have long been calling on Facebook to address critical issues, such as the platform’s role in enabling election interference, violations of privacy, “fake news” distribution, online hate speech and sexual harassment. Yet CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company’s senior management have consistently brushed this all under the rug – until the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal and other controversies finally forced these problems into the light and Zuckerberg himself into congressional testimony.


Facebook’s Largest Shareholders Urged to Hold the Company Accountable

Facebook’s Largest Shareholders Urged to Hold the Company Accountable

Facebook’s largest institutional investors – including well-known firms such as Vanguard, Fidelity and BlackRock – are being challenged to take action to address critical concerns regarding the social media platform’s handling of risk, privacy and transparency. The pressure comes from 78 organizations which today released a joint letter calling on the big shareholders to step out from the background and use their influence to demand better from one of the world’s most powerful companies. The letter is signed by leaders of diverse organizations, including prominent human and civil rights groups, major impact investment firms, faith-based investors and foundations. Investors signing the letter represent approximately $62 billion in assets under management.


"Zuckerberg must face consequences for his inaction" says Michael Connor, Executive Director of Open MIC

“If any other publicly-held company continually failed to improve its performance on such mission-critical issues, the CEO would have resigned or been fired by now. Zuckerberg must face consequences for his inaction, which is why Open MIC is calling on him to resign – or for Facebook’s board to fire him. At the very least, the company should take steps to separate the roles of CEO and Chairman – both of which Zuckerberg currently holds – thus providing some improved governance for the company. Facebook impacts the lives of hundreds of millions every day; it’s time for a CEO who will act quickly and transparently to address the platform’s problems and stop endangering us all.”

Open MIC Joins Coalition in Urging Companies and the Dept. of Homeland Security to Avoid Risky, Dangerous “Extreme Vetting Initiative”

Open MIC joins a coalition of over 50 civil society organizations – advocates for civil rights, civil liberties, government accountability, human rights, immigrants’ rights, and privacy – in urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to immediately halt a new “Extreme Vetting Initiative” on the grounds that it will be inaccurate, biased, and a threat to constitutional and human rights.

Facebook, Google and Twitter Investors Demand Answers and Accountability Following 2016 Election Interference

Shareholders in Facebook, Google and Twitter with assets worth more than $25 billion have filed proposals with the companies in the last week demanding answers and accountability related to  foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as threats posed by the growth of hate speech and disinformation on the three platforms.

Open MIC Signs Coalition Letter to Attorney General Sessions on AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Open MIC has joined a coalition of fourteen civil rights, media justice, and tech policy and privacy organizations in signing a letter urging the Department of Justice to protect consumers by rejecting the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger. Specifically, the letter cites the major threats to innovation and pro-consumer competition posed by the merger. 

Investors Representing $190 Billion in Assets Oppose FCC’s Proposed Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

A group of 20 investment advisors, investment management firms and foundations with broadly diversified stock portfolios today called upon the FCC to maintain current rules that support the principle of network neutrality on the Internet. The investors, representing approximately $190 billion in assets and Assets Under Management (AUM), argued in a filing with the FCC that a rulemaking proposed in April 2017 - which would gut net neutrality protections - is “fundamentally flawed.”