The Council on Ethics recommends that Cognyte Software Ltd (Cognyte) be excluded from investment by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) due to an unacceptable risk that the company is contributing to serious human rights abuses. Cognyte is a software company that supplies surveillance products and services. The recommendation relates to human rights abuses that may be enabled by the company’s products and services. Several of the states that are said to be among its customers have been accused of extremely serious human rights violations, including abduction, torture and other forms of abuse targeting vulnerable groups, including sexual minorities.
The Council considers that surveillance of political opponents and minorities is a foreseeable risk for the company, given the products and services it offers. Based on the information Cognyte has shared, it is not possible for the Council to determine that the company has initiated appropriate measures to avoid being involved in new norm violations in the future.
The Council on Ethics issued its recommendation on exclusion on 17 June 2022. Norge Bank announced its decision to exclude the company on 15 December 2022.