Case Study: Embedding Human Rights Across a Global Technology Company

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For Microsoft, implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights posed three main challenges:

  1. First, the technology sector can affect a number of human rights positively or negatively, from privacy and data security considerations in cloud computing, to how human rights might be portrayed in video games.
  2. Second, while company leaders believe the information and communications technology industry plays an important role in advancing free expression and human rights, the public narrative often is focused much more on the risks to freedom of expression and privacy than on the industry’s positive contributions.
  3. And third, there was a need to clarify which human rights issues are most salient for Microsoft.

To address these challenges, the company asked for BSR’s support in creating one cohesive, global strategy for Microsoft’s human rights management—a partnership that began three years ago and continues today.

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