Survey: Amazon, Google and Apple Among the Least Transparent Companies in the World ranked as least transparent tech company.
By Loek Essers
News Jul 12th 2012

Apple, and Google are among the least transparent companies in the world, according to a survey of 105 publicly traded multinationals published by Transparency International. 

Transparency International studied 105 of the world's largest publicly traded multinationals, looking at their reporting between June and Oct. 15, 2011 of anticorruption programs covering bribery, facilitation payments and whistle blower protections; their organizational transparency, and country-by-country reporting of financial results and tax payments.

Together the companies are worth more than US$11 trillion and have influence on the lives of people in more than 200 countries, the study said. The companies' influence can be a source of innovation and prosperity, but when misused can result in economic stagnation, poverty and inequality, the researchers wrote. Transparent companies are more likely to prevent a financial crisis by giving stakeholders the chance to make informed decisions and influence corporate behavior, the report said, adding that transparency reduces the opportunity for misuse of public money.

The organization gave Amazon a transparency score of just 2.8 out of 10, putting it in 98th place out of 105 and making it the least transparent technology company in the report. Google, in 96th place, scored 2.9; camera maker Canon scored 3, and Apple scored 3.2, putting it in 92nd place.