TRUSTe is pleased to have made the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll for the third year. The honor roll distinguishes companies that have demonstrated exceptional data protection, privacy and security in an effort to better protect their customers and brand.
OTA, a nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with industry leaders to enhance online trust, completed comprehensive audits analyzing more than 750 domains and privacy policies, approximately 10,000 web pages and more than 500 million emails for this report.
The composite analysis included over a dozen attributes that focus:
- Site & server security
- Domain, brand, email and consumer protection
In addition to the in-depth analysis of their web sites, Domain Name Systems (DNS), outbound emails, and public records were analyzed for recent data breach incidents and FTC settlements. Key sectors audited include the Internet Retailer 500, FDIC 100, Top 50 Social Sites as well as OTA members.
“Consumers are trading billions of pieces of personal data in exchange for desired services. They rely on the integrity of the businesses collecting and storing this information to protect them,” said Craig Spiezle, president and executive director of the Online Trust Alliance. “We are very pleased with the voluntary level of adoption many consumer-facing websites implemented this year that went above and beyond baseline compliance.”
Nearly a third of the companies reviewed made the Honor Roll, including TRUSTe The report indicates that company size and/or sales are not true measures of the level of security and privacy a company implements. “All companies are equally evaluated by the same criterion regardless of size. We have seen large e-retailers with significant sales fail to make the Honor Roll; conversely we have seen small to mid-size companies taking top grades,” said Spiezle.
Started in 2005 as an effort to drive adoption of best practices, the objectives of the Honor Roll are:
- Recognize leadership and commitment to best practices which aid in the protection of online trust and confidence in online services
- Enable businesses to enhance their security, data protection and privacy practices
- Move from compliance to stewardship, demonstrating support of meaningful self-regulation
- Promote security & privacy as part of a company’s brand promise and value proposition
Being named to the 2013 Honor Roll is a significant achievement considering the large number of companies that received failing marks for inadequate domain and consumer protection (22%), insecure websites (11%), and inadequate privacy policies or data collection practices (35%).