Transition of Ranking Digital Rights from New America to the World Benchmarking Alliance

Over the past decade, Ranking Digital Rights (RDR), a corporate accountability program incubated at New America, has advanced transparency on digital rights among the world’s most powerful technology and telecommunications companies. Its benchmarking and research on companies’ policies and practices has been widely recognised as a gold standard on freedom of expression and privacy in the tech sector. 

On January 1, 2024, RDR began the next chapter of its corporate accountability work with a transition to the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA). This move will give RDR an opportunity to engage with a broader international coalition of benchmarking efforts driving systems change through the tools of corporate accountability. It will also serve as a new bridge between New America and the World Benchmarking Alliance under our shared vision of advancing a more inclusive and sustainable digital future. 

Over the last decade, while at New America, Ranking Digital Rights laid the bedrock for corporate accountability in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector by demanding transparency from Big Tech and Telco Giants. It has exerted pressure on the most powerful of these companies to uphold their obligations to respect and promote human rights, and at the same time galvanised others — from lawmakers to civil society to activist investors — to use the data and insights and grow the global movement for tech accountability. 

RDR is joining WBA, widely recognized as the home of sustainability-focused benchmarking. Since 2018, it has built a movement to hold 2,000 of the world’s most influential companies accountable for their part in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Its benchmarks reflect the breadth of the commitments and changes that companies must make to put our planet, society, and economy on a more sustainable and resilient path. 

RDR will continue to advance and further shape its mission under WBA’s Digital Transformation, one of seven systems in which the organisation has identified the need for companies to take urgent action to achieve the SDGs. RDR’s flagship Corporate Accountability Index and Scorecards will dovetail with the Digital Inclusion Benchmark (DIB), which has successfully set the standard for what corporations should do to advance a more inclusive digital society. Across three iterations to date, it has charted the progress of 200 technology companies toward achieving that goal, calling them out when they fall short. 

Similarly, New America will continue to build out its corporate accountability work scrutinising the systems and investment culture that ‘moves fast and breaks things,’ that unleashes new technologies and leaves society and democracy to deal with the consequences. WBA, RDR, and New America hold a shared ambition to support a stronger benchmarking community that recognises how societal challenges intersect and interact around the world.  

As such, New America will also join WBA’s community of Allies – a collective of nearly 400 organisations exchanging insights on the research, data, and strategies we need to better hold the private sector accountable. Through its Technology & Democracy programs, New America brings an unparalleled understanding of the tech policy space in the U.S. and beyond, galvanising lawmakers to shape regulations in a way that contributes to a stronger society. 

Together we look forward to helping build a sustainable digital future that works for everyone. 


About New America 

We are dedicated to renewing the promise of America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create. 

Our technology and democracy programs work towards a sustainable, digital future that advances equitable opportunity, innovation, fundamental rights and participatory governance.  

About Ranking Digital Rights 

Ranking Digital Rights (RDR) is an initiative that promotes freedom of expression and privacy on the internet by creating global standards and incentives for companies to respect and protect users’ rights. It evaluates the world’s largest digital platforms and telecommunications companies through the RDR Corporate Accountability Index (RDR Index) and Scorecards. We work extensively with investors and civil society groups seeking to hold technology companies accountable. 

About the World Benchmarking Alliance 

The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) is a non-profit organisation holding 2,000 of the world’s most influential companies accountable for their part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It does this by publishing free and publicly available benchmarks on their performance. 


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