At some point we’ve all been told that nothing worth doing is easy, and being a responsible business when it comes to human rights is no exception. As we mark Human Rights Day this year, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on OneTrust’s journey and looking ahead to the next steps in our mission to help organizations build trust. 

The right to a private life is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. OneTrust was born of the need for a technology to help protect the right to privacy, and from there has grown to keep pace with the changing technology landscape that shapes our lives. 

Download the infographic: Upholding Human Rights as a Business 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected, and we all play a part in upholding these rights, including businesses. The UN outlined the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to help businesses be more responsible in protecting and upholding human rights. 

The UN’s framework outlines three pillars –‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ — for businesses the majority of the focus will be on respect and remedy.   

  • Protect: The state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties  
  • Respect: The corporate responsibility to respect human rights  
  • Remedy: Greater access to effective remedy 

For more information, we’ve put together an infographic on upholding human rights as a business. 

Privacy as a Human Right

OneTrust was founded five years ago. With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) two years away from becoming law, there was a growing buzz around privacy regulations and the fundamental right to privacy. OneTrust’s goal was to help organizations comply with privacy regulations and in doing so protect individuals’ rights. 

But privacy can’t be protected from a silo. Companies needed to think bigger about how to build confidence among their customers. How? By making trust the ultimate outcome. By focusing on trust, companies can bring together their efforts in protecting privacy and data governance, ethics and compliance, GRC and information security, and ESG and sustainability into a single platform for an enduring and mutually beneficial relationship with their customers.  

OneTrust has worked with customers, partners, employees, and the community, to build the software platform for trust. From the first tools to help protect the right to privacy, to present day where we’re working to help organizations build ecosystems of trust, the goal is to build trust through demonstrable responsibility, both for ourselves and for our customers. 

Building Trust with Centers of Excellence

Respecting human rights is an essential to being a trusted company. A concern for human rights has to sit at the very core of an organization’s values and consideration should be visible throughout all areas of operation. When it comes to the ‘respect’ and ‘remedy’ pillars of the UN’s guidance, we see the importance of putting words into action. 

Any organization can make a promise to respect human rights, but what’s more important is being able demonstrate the diligence that goes into to a genuine commitment to avoid human rights abuses. So, what does this due diligence look like at OneTrust? 

At its core, OneTrust is meant to build and support trust. The Chief Trust Office helps to run the world’s best trust program internally at OneTrust while making our knowledge available to the world. Our commitments aren’t just talk, we’re putting words into action, using our own resources and tools to help us build trust in our day-to-day operations.  

The Chief Trust Office is supported by our centers of excellence 

  • Privacy: Led by Linda Thielova 
  • Security: Led by Justin Henkel 
  • Ethics & Compliance: Led by Asha Palmer  
  • ESG: Led by Pam Fitzpatrick 

Each center of excellence brings together a group of experts in their field and serves to: 

  • Deliver expertise in their field to help guide our product, marketing, sales, and support teams as we support our 10,000+ customers on their own programs 
  • Share resources and best practices with the community 
  • Build the best trust program internally, leveraging the OneTrust platform 

Putting Words into Action

To continue to deliver on our commitment to trust, OneTrust is now a participant in the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Our participation in the UN Global Compact demonstrates that we’re taking a stand for the protection of human rights. As we continue to build the platform of trust, we’ll work to grow sustainably, while respecting the basic human rights of people. 

Further reading human rights in business: