Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely

iStock_000011057325XSmallIt’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring.

This week’s post includes: an overview of amicus briefs in the Apple case; the arrest of a Facebook executive in Brazil; and a statement from the U.S. Government on its human rights “commitments and pledges,” including its forthcoming adoption of a National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct.

  • On March 1, a senior Facebook executive was arrested in Brazil after the company allegedly failed to respond to a court order requiring the production of certain user data related to the WhatsApp accounts of individuals being investigated for drug trafficking and other crimes. As with the Apple case, the arrest by Brazilian authorities highlights the challenges faced by technology companies seeking to navigate government demands for user data in diverse jurisdictions. The Facebook executive was quickly released after a court determination that he had not been personally named in the relevant legal proceedings.
  • On February 29, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre released its annual corporate legal accountability briefing. The annual briefing presents a global overview of the ways in which governments and litigants have sought to hold companies accountable for the human rights impact of their operations during the previous year. The growing potential for litigation pursuant to transparency statutes is highlighted in this year’s briefing as is a number of cases focused on cross-border environmental harm in Southeast Asia.

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