Harnessing the power of tech to connect for good.
New technology must earn trust and transform life for the better
BT Group touches the lives of nearly every person in the UK in some way – and thousands more around the world. That’s why it’s important that we make the most of the opportunities that new technologies bring. That could be supporting healthcare, AI, security or the shift to a low carbon economy.
Successful adoption of new tech depends on public trust in both the technology and the organisations developing and deploying it.
We aim for our tech to empower people and improve their lives.
Our responsible tech principles help us think carefully about how to benefit people and minimise harms – every time we develop, use, buy and sell tech.
Our responsible tech principles are:
We follow the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These principles form the basis of our Human Rights Policy Commitment and is part of our risk management framework.
Our updated Being trusted: our code is our mandatory training for all colleagues and spells out our commitments on responsible tech and human rights.
And as part of our commitment to identify and remedy harms, we encourage anyone with concerns about human rights in our operations to contact our Speak Up helpline.
Our Responsible Tech Steering Group oversees how we implement our tech principles. This year it continued looking into our emerging risks and strategic growth areas. It invited external experts to help define our approach to topics like children’s rights, evolving high risk markets and customers, and new products and innovation.
The Responsible Business Committee – a BT Group plc Board committee – oversees progress on our human rights programme. At a day-to-day level, our human rights team works on the integration of the UN Guiding Principles in our business, including through training and supporting the teams which implement our policy in our business units and regions. Our Group Corporate Affairs Director (a member of our Executive Committee) makes decisions on any human rights matter which can’t be resolved at an operational level.
We recognise situations can change. That’s why we periodically engage with internal and external stakeholders and conduct regular human rights due diligence and impact assessments to identify and assess emerging and enduring human rights risks. Based on these, we make changes to our processes and operations to mitigate our impact. We track the measures we put in place, from product development through to the point of sale, and beyond.
For example, in 2023 we concluded a group-wide child rights impact assessment and two country-specific human rights impact assessments. We are acting on the findings and tracking our impact.
Putting our principles into practice when we…
We apply our principles right from the start when we design new tech and we work to systematically build human rights due diligence into product design processes.
We want to make sure our products and services are used for good. We focus on protecting privacy and free expression and helping to prevent online harms. We support the Global Network Initiative (GNI) Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy.
We sell to customers around the world.
Through our sales due diligence process, we work to make sure that our customers use our products and services in a way that benefits people and minimises harms.