Myth or Promise? The Corporate Social Responsibilities of Online Service Providers for Human Rights
Mariarosaria Taddeo and Luciano Floridi, eds, The Responsibilities of Online Service Providers (Springer Law, Governance and Technology Series, 2017); ISBN 978-3-319-47852-4
29 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2017
Date Written: May 2016
The story of technology and law has often been about the law lagging behind innovation. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) instruments, because of their transnational amenability, responsiveness to change and non-binding nature, have been increasingly deployed to fill the perceived governance gap. This chapter examines the various CSR frameworks that guide or govern online service providers (OSP), such as search engine providers, social networking providers, payment providers, and e-commerce platforms. It will focus on three influential initiatives: the United Nations Guiding Principles, the European Commission ICT Sector Guidance and the Global Network Initiative. The core question for OSPs, as with any company, is how do we make them accountable for their human rights impact? This entails analysis of some of the following questions. What value, if any, do such CSR frameworks offer to the protection of human rights online and what are their drawbacks? Relatedly, how do we know if these CSR frameworks are a success? What factors lead to the conclusion that CSR, in a given situation or sector, is an ill-suited device where more traditional legal measures are needed?
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, regulation, technology, intermediaries, guiding principles, business and human rights
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