Meta (FACEBOOK, INC.) | Report on reproductive rights and data privacy at Meta (FACEBOOK, INC.)

9.60% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Public health
  • Digital rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request our Board issue a public report assessing the feasibility of diminishing the extent that the Company will be a target of abortion-related law enforcement requests by expanding consumer privacy protections and controls over sensitive personal Meta user data. The report should be produced at reasonable expense, exclude proprietary or legally privileged information, and be published within one year of the annual meeting.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Following the revocation of the constitutional right to an abortion in June 2022, federal policymakers and legislators are concerned about the use of personal digital data for the enforcement of state laws that ban or restrict abortion access.
Law enforcement may demand data seeking evidence of consumer acts that were legal in the state where they occurred, but illegal in the consumer's state of residence, such as purchasing abortifacients. Experts on reproductive rights and privacy have also "documented how police and prosecutors wield laws and data” to camouflage that their data demands are for abortion-related criminal charges.1
In one example from 2022, Meta satisfied a Nebraska police warrant demanding access to private Facebook messages from a mother facing felony charges for allegedly helping her daughter terminate a pregnancy.2 Meta received significant negative press, responding, in part, that the Company had "received valid legal warrants from local law enforcement . . . [that] did not mention abortion at all.”3
Law enforcement's reliance on digital consumer data is increasingly common. In the first half of 2022 alone, Meta received 69,363 U.S.-based government requests, most involving criminal matters. The Company at least partially complied with about 88 percent of those requests,4 stressing that even careful scrutiny of law enforcement data demands by Meta may still expose consumers involved in abortion-related acts to criminal prosecutions. To protect consumers and the Company's reputation, Meta would need to decrease the potentially personal sensitive information it collects and retains from users.
Meta already complies with "deletion rights'' under California law, wherein consumers may request the Company delete personal data it is not legally required to retain.5 Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram further offer the option of using end-to- end encryption in personal messages as a method of secure communication that prevents third parties from easily accessing data. Despite these efforts, and although Meta conducts periodic privacy risk assessments,6 the Company has not disclosed whether there are privacy risks concerning abortion-related law enforcement data demands.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Shareholders recommend the Board receive input from reproductive rights and civil liberties organizations, and the report include, at board discretion:
(1) An assessment of the implementation of a global, nationwide, or regionally based, data privacy policy wherein consumers would have "deletion rights;”
(2) An evaluation of the related risks and benefits of establishing a default policy enabling end-to-end encryption on all Facebook Messenger chats.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
EFG Asset Management For A vote FOR this proposal is warranted. The company is legally required to comply with information requests but
could be doing more to protect consumers’ data privacy and protect the company from further reputational
Rothschild & co Asset Management For

DISCLAIMER: By including a shareholder resolution or management proposal in this database, neither the PRI nor the sponsor of the resolution or proposal is seeking authority to act as proxy for any shareholder; shareholders should vote their proxies in accordance with their own policies and requirements.

Any voting recommendations set forth in the descriptions of the resolutions and management proposals included in this database are made by the sponsors of those resolutions and proposals, and do not represent the views of the PRI.

Information on the shareholder resolutions, management proposals and votes in this database have been obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable, but the PRI does not represent that it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date, including information relating to resolutions and management proposals, other signatories’ vote pre-declarations (including voting rationales), or the current status of a resolution or proposal. You should consult companies’ proxy statements for complete information on all matters to be voted on at a meeting.