Transparency International scrutinises Facebook, Google and Amazon over political lobbying

Transparency International pile pressure on Facebook, Google & Amazon over political lobbying

Amazon, Facebook and Google are facing further questions over the extent of their political lobbying in the UK, following publication of a new Transparency International report into their activities.

The damning findings showed that 73% of 104 multinational companies surveyed were failing to ‘adequately disclose’ how they interacted with politicians while a further 42% ranked ‘very poorly’ when it comes to how transparent they were about lobbying and to which trade associations they belong.

Of the global firms investigated Facebook and Amazon were among the poorest performers in the ‘responsible lobbying’ category with both businesses publishing scant or non-existent detail on their lobbying positions.

Google meanwhile ranked last when it came to implementing a proper firewall between employees and public servants by failing to insist on an appropriate ‘cooling off’ period when recruiting former public officials such as the appointment of former David Cameron aide Tim Chatwin to the head of EMEA communications.

Kathryn Higgs, director of the Transparency International UK business integrity programme, remarked: "The findings of our 2018 index are definitely a cause for concern.

"Businesses must be far more transparent in how they engage with politicians or they risk damaging their reputations with the public and in the long-run will themselves lose out."

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