AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.

 


Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Human rights, Responsible use & product safety


Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Human rights, Responsible use & product safety

 

 

Our Position

 

AT&T joins organizations around the globe in the belief that technology and communications companies must make the protection of children a priority, by working to protect the privacy of young users’ personal data, preserving children’s rights to freedom of expression and freedom from online predators and exploitation, and developing policies and systems that address violations of children’s rights when they occur.


 

 

Our Action

As stated in the AT&T Human Rights Policy, we are committed to working with industry partners and stakeholders to help safeguard children from online predators.

In 2020, we established the AT&T Online Safety Committee – led by senior leaders in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization – to provide oversight and guidance on the digital safety issues impacting our business, our customers and society. The committee meets regularly and is comprised of subject matter experts from across our operating companies.

In its first year, the Online Safety Committee launched an initiative to analyze company-wide digital safety efforts and complete the UNICEF Mobile Operator Child Rights Self-Impact Assessment Tool. For more information on this work, please see our Responsible Use of Products and Services issue brief.

The AT&T Human Rights Committee, also led by leaders in our CSR organization and comprised of executives from across the business, is responsible for implementing the AT&T Human Rights Policy throughout our operations and conducting related due diligence – including regular mapping of potential risks. Please see our Human Rights issue brief for more information on our work to address all human rights issues.

Our Senior Vice President for CSR, who is also our Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), is responsible for overseeing the AT&T Human Rights Policy, as well as our work to promote digital safety and wellbeing. The CSO reports several times a year to the Public Policy and Corporate Reputation Committee of the AT&T Board of Directors.

Our CSO also regularly convenes the CSR Governance Council, comprised of senior executives and officers from across the company who are responsible for the business areas most linked to our most important environment, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Privacy

AT&T supports and complies with the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), as well as other laws governing the collection and handling of children’s data

On most sites, we don’t knowingly collect personally identifying information from anyone under the age of 13.  When we do, we collect it in accordance with a legally permitted purpose or exception, or when we first get permission from the child’s parent or legal guardian.

Unless we have consent of a parent or legal guardian, we will not knowingly contact a child under the age of 13 for targeted marketing purposes. For more details on how we address children’s privacy, see WarnerMedia’s, AT&T’s and Xandr’s privacy policies.

Failure of an employee to comply with the Company’s policies and guidelines may result in discipline, up to and including termination .

Please see our Customer Privacy issue brief for information on privacy protection efforts and policies across all our operating companies.

Internal Risk Assessments

In 2020, AT&T completed a human rights impact assessment across our portfolio of products and services to better understand risks related to potential online child exploitation and child sexual abuse material. The risk assessment utilized the UNICEF Mobile Operator Child Rights Self-Impact Assessment Tool, as well as industry best practices. Findings of the assessment were reported to AT&T’s Human Rights Committee and Online Safety Committee, which has governance over action items resulting from the assessment.

Empowering Consumers

AT&T is committed to helping protect our customers and to helping customers protect themselves online. To empower consumers to seize the benefits of AT&T technology while avoiding some of the safety pitfalls, we provide educational resources and services that help them personalize their internet experience and protect children and themselves from content they find inappropriate.

By creating resources for parents, caregivers and children, and by working with expert nonprofit organizations, we aim to raise awareness about safe navigation of online technology. For more information on our digital safety and wellbeing efforts, please see our Annual Corporate Responsibility Summary and Responsible Use of Products and Services issue brief.

Report Child Sexual Abuse Material

If you witness content you believe to be child sexual abuse material, or if you observe any illegal activity involving children while using any AT&T service, please report it as soon as possible by emailing safeguarding-children@att.com.

You also can make a report directly to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by visiting http://www.cybertipline.org or by calling 1-800-843-5678.

Engaging Stakeholders

We are committed to working with governments, industry, customers and civil society to promote human rights around the world in areas associated with our operations. We also believe these issues merit a society-wide conversation, so we regularly engage with stakeholders to explain our point of view, share best practices and learn from our peers.

We engage with groups such as:

  • United Nations Global Compact (UNGC): In 2019, AT&T became the first U.S.-based telecommunications service provider to become a signatory of the UNGC and commit to its voluntary framework of principles related to human rights and environmental sustainability. We publish an annual Communication on Progress, detailing our managerial approach to UNGC focus areas.
  • Freedom Online Coalition: AT&T participates in the Advisory Network of the Freedom Online Coalition, a group of 30 governments that have committed to working together to support internet freedom and protect fundamental human rights – free expression, free association, free assembly and privacy online – worldwide. The Advisory Network provides input to the Freedom Online Coalition’s Program of Action and joint statements on internet freedom issues.
  • BSR Human Rights Working Group: AT&T is a member of BSR’s Human Rights Working Group (HRWG). The HRWG was created to develop a safe space for a cross-sector group of companies to openly share best practices, challenges, questions and experiences.
  • Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT): AT&T is an active supporter of CDT. The company regularly participates in its free expression working group as well as in a number of its other formal and informal working groups addressing issues that affect human rights and freedom of expression on the internet.
  • Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI): Since 2012, AT&T has participated in GeSI’s Human Rights Working Group, which is pursuing a practical means of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights across the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, which includes internet providers, telecoms and manufacturers. The working group is also coordinating GeSI’s involvement in the European Commission’s project to develop human rights guidance for the ICT sector.
  • Internet Governance Forum (IGF): AT&T regularly attends IGF meetings, actively participating in the multi-stakeholder process that has historically governed the internet. During these meetings, the company advocates against local storage mandates and other impediments to the free flow of information.
  • Tech Against Trafficking: AT&T is collaborating with other tech and telecom companies to jointly leverage our technology to prevent human trafficking and support survivors.
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: AT&T is committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online and to pursue child predators and those engaged with online child pornography.
  • WePROTECT Global Alliance: The WePROTECT Global Alliance is an international movement dedicated to national and global action to end the sexual exploitation of children online.