This is a website for tracking tech transparency initiatives. It collates outputs and initiatives from a range of actors, such as governments and civil society organisations. It also tracks relationships between entries to build a global picture of tech transparency. It was produced by the Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency.
Transparency by technology companies is an important component of protecting human rights. Transparency initiatives are proliferating, and many voluntary transparency measures are now becoming compulsory.
As government regulation expands, transparency by government agencies will also become more important. Transparency by government agencies is essential to ensure that discretionary oversight and enforcement powers are not misused or abused.
In all of this, civil society is looked to by companies and governments as playing a key role in making use of transparency outputs to protect and promote human rights and build understanding about the impacts of global technology companies on our lives.
The scope and number of transparency initiatives, as well as the projects that make use of transparency outputs, are constantly growing. Voluntary, co-regulatory, and State regulatory arrangements are being developed and implemented in multiple jurisdictions.
There’s so much good work going on, but mechanisms for distributing and accessing this work can be obscure or transient, relying on content feeds driven by recommender systems, or siloed in individual websites.
One risk of forthcoming transparency initiatives is that people and organisations could be overwhelmed by the volume of information forthcoming.
The density and complexity of the global tech policy space can have an exclusionary effect. Professional networks and communities can be difficult to navigate even for seasoned operators, let alone for new entrants, or people living outside main policy centres. How should people living outside the European Union, or the United States, come to understand the complex relationships between established policy actors?
The Transparency Initiatives Portal aims to address these issues by tracking actors, events, initiatives, and outputs from transparency measures. It’s a community resource and we intend it to serve the community.
Here’s what we hope it can do for you.
This is a community resource. Take the opportunity to share your work and learn about work from others. You can suggest or amend an entry at any time.
The Transparency Initiatives Portal has been developed and produced for the Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency (“the ACT”). The portal was proposed, developed, and is now administered, by the Brainbox Institute, acting as the ACT project lead.
The Action Coalition on Meaningful Transparency is a broad-based multi-stakeholder coalition initiated by the Global Network Initiative alongside a civil society steering group. The steering group includes:
The ACT was initiated under the auspices of the Danish Government’s Tech For Democracy programme, as part of its Year of Action. It is one of a range of different Action Coalitions dedicated to different components of the broader tech and democracy space.
The ACT’s membership includes 100+ groups and people and it also includes an advisory group of individuals that bring experience from a range of important organisations, including tech companies, government regulators, international bodies, and others. You can find a full list on the ACT website.
The purpose of the ACT is to bring together a wide range of academics, civil society organisations, companies, governments and international organisations to work collaboratively on digital transparency. The ACT is driven by a desire to make sure that transparency initiatives produce meaningful outputs, avoid unintended consequences, and protect and promote human rights. The Transparency Initiatives Portal is a manifestation of, and response to, the objectives of the Action Coalition, which include:
The ACT is driven by a project lead, the Brainbox Institute, a consultancy and think tank based in New Zealand. The portal initiative was proposed, managed, and administered by the Brainbox Institute and continues under Brainbox’s administration. The portal initiative received critical support, including funding, from the following organisations:
The ACT and its steering group are sincerely committed to effective and trustworthy multi-stakeholder approaches to technology policy. Our portal information pack includes some comments on our editorial approach to the portal’s content, and the principles and practices we adopt to give users confidence in the quality of the portal’s data.
We’re hoping this portal is useful to you. If you do find it useful, we’d love to hear from you. If you identify some opportunities for improvement, we’d love to hear that too. We’ll collate any feedback and incorporate that into future iterations of the portal.