The Business Case for Digital Rights: Future-Proofing Digital Transformation

Guides & Tools

With two-thirds of the world’s population regularly using the internet, we are experiencing an unprecedented shift in how people spend their money and time. Most companies, big or small, are now dependent on the internet for supply chains, connections to customers, and market information. A vibrant and inclusive digital economy requires the protection of digital rights: universal human rights of expression, thought, assembly, association, privacy, and more as applied to the digital sphere. However, these digital rights that are essential for businesses to flourish in the 21st century are increasingly under threat. To address this challenge, the private sector, especially local business communities operating across Global Majority countries, can play a key role in safeguarding democratic and economic freedoms in the digital age.

While large technology companies are often at the center of attention in global discussions on digital rights, local business communities – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business associations, and chambers of commerce, particularly those in Global Majority countries – have an important role to play. This resource was developed primarily with these private sector stakeholders in mind to help them build vibrant, rights-respecting digital economies around the world. Other actors, such as multinational companies, civil society organizations, donors, and government regulators, may also benefit from better understanding local business perspectives on the ways digital rights impact the private sector and how they may be better able to work together with local businesses.

Published Date: March 29, 2024