The below blog post is by Lisl Brunner – Director, Global Public Policy for AT&T Services, Inc.
On September 19-20, AT&T hosted a workshop for civil society organizations and small and medium enterprises on business and human rights at its offices in Mexico City. The session was organized and led by international NGO Global Partners Digital, building on similar workshops delivered in Africa, and I was fortunate to listen in and learn on this occasion.
The sessions highlighted good practice for respecting users’ freedom of expression and privacy, and participants discussed how they would respond to real-life scenarios, such as receiving a request for user data that is not accompanied by the proper legal process, or a request that a platform remove content critical of a political candidate. AT&T’s Data Protection Officer for Mexico, Alejandro Giordano, also described the company’s privacy program and its approach to compliance with the Mexican data protection law.
One of our motives for hosting this session came from recommendations that BSR conveyed when they conducted a broad-ranging human rights impact assessment of our Mexico operations in 2016-17. Their experts recommended that AT&T sponsor organizations that raise knowledge and awareness of good privacy and security practices, and that we take a more proactive approach to engaging with human rights organizations. I think that we have a good ongoing dialogue with these organizations, in Mexico and the United States, but also through our participation in events such as RightsCon and the Freedom Online Conference.