A conference is to be held in October, where the issue of internet privacy will be discussed in relation to sustainable and responsible investment (SRI).
The conference, which will take place in Colorado Spring, US, will bring together a range of experts who will discuss issues such as global obesity, hydrofracking and energy risk.
However, new on the agenda this year is internet privacy, which has recently been thrust centre stage within the political arena thanks to the likes of Wikileaks. But this has also been the case in the investment community.
Rebecca MacKinnon, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation, will give a speech called Surveillance, Censorship, and Corporate Accountability: A New Challenge for Investors.
Speaking about the conference, organiser Steve Schueth, said, “We have developed a session on internet privacy to examine the roles that companies and investors can play in formulating practices that protect privacy in the digital world, and we are excited to have Rebecca MacKinnon as an expert in this area helping conference attendees understand the implications.”
MacKinnon, who sits on the board of the Global Network Initiative, which promotes free speech and privacy in the ICT sector, highlighted the growing influence that internet and telecommunications companies have over the lives of millions, both politically and socially.
“These companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, and that clearly includes the rights to privacy and freedom of expression”, she said.
“Most have done a poor job of respecting their users’ and customers’ digital rights in the face of laws and government demands that clash with international human rights norms.”
The internet privacy debate was brought to light in the wake of the recent attempts by the US government to track down Edward Snowden, who revealed to the world that national security services were retrieving information on individuals through corporate companies.