Both governments and tech companies shape the online environment that we increasingly rely on for important aspects of our life. Their policies and actions determine the extent to which people around the world can speak and access information, freely and without discrimination, while staying safe.
Transparency around these policies and actions is central to the Christchurch Call Commitments and vital to protecting human rights. Researchers and civil society play a critical role in helping governments and tech companies define and deliver meaningful transparency – helping us to understand the online world and the impact that technology is having on our lives.
The Transparency Initiatives Portal(external link) is a website launched in October 2023 by the Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency(external link). It collates tech transparency initiatives, significant actors, regulations from governments, outputs from civil society organisations and upcoming events relevant to tech transparency collated in a regularly updated and searchable database. It also tracks relationships and connections between entries. The portal is a piece of community infrastructure that accepts and welcomes submissions from anyone via a simple online form.
The portal addresses the challenge of getting a global picture of transparency in the tech sector. Technology is developing fast. More regulations requiring different forms of transparency are being rolled out globally for technology companies. There are different measures, terminology, and approaches across jurisdictions and platforms and new developments related to transparency are happening every day. Without the portal, finding and contextualizing this information is time-consuming, and understanding how different initiatives and organisations interact in this increasingly complex environment is challenging.
The Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency is a broad-based multi-stakeholder coalition established under the Danish Government’s Tech for Democracy initiative. The portal is a joint project from the Global Network Initiative(external link) and the Brainbox Institute(external link). It has received funding support from several partners, including the Christchurch Call. Find out more about the portal here(external link).