CHALLENGE: INTEL IS COMMITTED TO MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES TO AVOID COMPLICITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS RELATED TO ITS OWN OPERATIONS, SUPPLY CHAIN, AND PRODUCTS. IN 2016, INTEL DECIDED TO UNDERTAKE A HUMAN RIGHTS IMPACT ASSESSMENT (HRIA) TO REFRESH ITS RISK PROFILE, IDENTIFY POTENTIAL GAPS AND STRENGTHEN ITS STRATEGY.
Intel engaged a third party to conduct a human rights impact assessment (HRIA) to review its processes and validate its human rights risks. The impact assessment included a document review of current policies and practices, interviews with more than 30 Intel staff members across the company in varying geographies, and external research on the industry and human rights best practices. The HRIA was completed over a two-month timeframe.
The HRIA confirmed that Intel’s strategy addressed its most salient human rights risks, and reaffirmed Intel’s need to assess potential risks associated with emerging technologies, such as autonomous driving and drones. In 2018, Intel built on the results of the HRIA and conducted an additional internal Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Driving HRIA, including an assessment of potential risks related to product misuse, algorithmic bias, algorithmic transparency, privacy infringement, limits on freedom of expression, and health and safety. This assessment was led internally with support from an external advisory firm and included desk research as well as internal and external stakeholder workshops to identify salient risks and best practices in risk mitigation.
To begin addressing the risks identified in the assessment, in 2018 Intel formed an internal AI Ethics and Human Rights team and co-convened the Business Roundtable on Human Rights and AI that brought together leading technology companies to share learning and collaborate on addressing human rights risks related to emerging technologies.
- Completing an HRIA requires flexibility as companies may discover other salient risks to focus on during the assessment.
- HRIAs facilitate engagement with many areas of the business, in addition to reassessing potential risks.
- The HRIA process itself, particularly the internal engagement workshops, helped educate key internal constituencies about human rights and created a shared and deeper understanding of human rights risks and potential solutions across relevant functions.