TRUSTe To Develop Guidelines For Whitelisting Sites On New Disconnect Mobile App

iOS Mobile App to block malvertising from Disconnect Mobile.Android Mobile App to block malvertising from Disconnect Mobile.

Earlier today, Disconnect launched the first mobile app to block malvertising –and confirmed that the app is available for iOS and Android after an initial ban by Google caused public outcry.

Malvertising is a major cause of identity theft and is impossible for consumers to identify because malicious tracking and malware often looks like a normal advertisement or website.  Many consumers also do not realize that just visiting a webpage containing malvertising, without even clicking anything, can put them at risk.

“Disconnect Mobile offers unique threat protection at the network request level, so that users are protected across all their apps and mobile browsers.” said Disconnect’s CTO Patrick Jackson, a former NSA engineer. Disconnect Mobile works by blocking more than 5,000 tracking services and suspected malware sites from connecting to a user’s device.

A temporary ban on the app by Google earlier this month citing “interference with other services” led to hundreds of media reports and an uproar on social media. Disconnect resubmitted their app to make it clear that they are not an adblocker and are focused on protecting consumer privacy and Disconnect Mobile is again available for install in the Play Store, as well as iTunes.

Although Google has not specifically responded to requests for more information, industry consensus is that Disconnect Mobile was suspended because it was mistaken for an ad blocker. “We are not an ad blocker and we are not at all opposed to advertising,” says Disconnect COO Gus Warren. “But we are 100% opposed to ads that threaten consumer privacy and security. We are committed to un-blocking any companies on our filter lists who we verify respect consumer safety and privacy.”

At TRUSTe we’re delighted to be working with Disconnect to develop transparent guidelines for whitelisting sites on Disconnect Mobile and rewarding businesses with legitimate websites and apps for their commitment to consumer privacy. This collaboration is a follow up to our successful launch in June of Privacy Icons software that helps people quickly understand how websites handle their data.


February Monthly Spotlight



– Feb 19
EU Regulatory Update – Implications & Opportunities
(Webinar – OTA Members Only)

Join Saira Nayak, Director of Policy at TRUSTe, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 for the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) webinar which will provide an update on the EU Regulatory environment and discuss related implications and opportunities.


– Feb 24 – 27
Mobile World Congress – The Future of Mobile Advertising: From Opt-out to Opt-in

#MWC14 is a world-class thought leadership conference featuring visionary keynotes and panel discussions. More than 1,700 exhibitors will showcase cutting-edge product and technology innovations.

Stop by the TRUSTe Booth #K77 in the App Planet Hall 8.1 and don’t miss the TRUSTe Power Hour session on Thursday February 27 – The Future of Mobile Advertising: From Opt-out to Opt-in. Chris Babel, CEO at TRUSTe will be joined on stage by Roger Woods, Sr. Product Manager, Mobile Solutions at Adobe; Tom Bowman, VP Global Strategy & Sales Operations at BBC Worldwide and Bob Walczak, GM Mobile & Video at Pubmatic as TRUSTe shares a new advertising concept designed to satisfy the needs of consumers, privacy regulators, and the advertising ecosystem. Join us to hear the latest market trends along with consumer and advertiser needs, and the latest field test results.
– Feb. 27
CBBB and TRUSTe Discuss Compliance with the DAA’s Principles

Listen as Genie Barton, VP and Director, Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program & Mobile Marketing Initiatives of Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Joanne Furtsch, Director of Product Policy at TRUSTe explain the requirements for compliance with the DAA’s Principles and share tools and technologies available to help companies manage and maintain ongoing compliance on Thursday, February 27. If your company collects information for OBA purposes, and you’re not sure if you’re compliant then don’t miss this opportunity to get your questions answered.

WeChat Demonstrates Commitment to Consumer Privacy with TRUSTe Certification

Eleanor Treharne-Jones, Global Communications Director | TRUSTe


Earlier today, TRUSTe announced that WeChat, the leading mobile social communication application for smartphones, and its website (, are now certified by TRUSTe. The global certification covers WeChat in seventeen different languages, five different mobile operating systems (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone) and is part of WeChat’s ongoing commitment to online privacy, transparency and consumer choice.

Over the last year, WeChat has seen phenomenal market growth almost tripling its users from 2012 to 2013. In July 2013 it became the most downloaded mobile communication app from official stores in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey. WeChat is now the 5th most downloaded app in the world with more than 100 million registered accounts outside of China.

WeChat users can add friends via a wide range of innovative actions and methods, including scanning QR codes, connecting users’ phone books and activating location-based functions such as “People Nearby” and “Shake”. The platform enhances social interaction by supporting exchanging of text, voice and video, stickers, and photos with their friends over data networks or under Wi-Fi environments. Users can choose to communicate one-on-one, or within their closed social network through “Moments”.

However, the TRUSTe Privacy Index 2013 revealed 78% of US smartphone users will not download an app that they do not trust and so addressing consumer privacy concerns is key to global expansion for companies such as WeChat. “Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and concerned about what personal information companies are collecting about them and how it is being used,” said Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe. “Strong data privacy management practices are essential for any business looking to take advantage of new opportunities on mobile while building trust and protecting their brand.”

“By achieving TRUSTe certification, WeChat is demonstrating to millions of global users a clear commitment to privacy and transparency about how data is collected and used within the app. TRUSTe is the number one global privacy brand so displaying the Certified Privacy Seal within WeChat and its website can help to increase trust and support WeChat’s growth in wider international markets.”

“This is a true milestone for WeChat,” said Poshu Yeung, Vice President of the International Business Group at Tencent, the company behind the WeChat app. “WeChat has more than 100 million registered user accounts around the globe and is revolutionizing the way people communicate in their daily lives by providing a completely unique experience. Now with TRUSTe certification, WeChat users can have peace-of-mind knowing their data is well protected when they are keeping in touch with friends, meeting new people and having fun with WeChat.”

For more information on TRUSTe certification for your mobile apps see TRUSTed Apps.

TRUSTe Hits the Event Trail this Holiday Season

TRUSTe to participate in AppNation & IAPP Data Protection Congress.

— Dec 3
San Francisco, CA
TRUSTe will be speaking

APPNATION focuses on the business side of the App Revolution and attracts not only developers, but also leaders from carriers, platform developers, media, government and commerce.

Join TRUSTe’s Richard Qui, VP of Business Development, for a workshop presented by MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, on building trust in mobile apps (Tuesday, 12/3 at 11:00am in the main breakout room). Learn about new legislation in the US and across Europe and what it means for developers. Find out how to ensure your business can monetize data the right way.


— Dec 10-12
IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress
Brussels, Belgium
TRUSTe will be sponsoring and speaking

Join TRUSTe at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress this year – the only place to find the information you need to lead your organization into the future with topics including international data transfers, big data analysis, BYOD and more. Dave Deasy, VP of Marketing at TRUSTe, will be speaking at a breakout session on Wednesday, 12/11 at 1:45pm, focusing on what consumers think about privacy and how it impacts businesses.

VIDEO: AdTruth Partners with TRUSTe to Help Protect Privacy in Device Recognition Technology

AdTruth is a Device Recognition Technology (DRT) company that enables marketers to reach and recognize audiences at scale on any devices while respecting consumer privacy and choice.


James Lamberti, VP and General Manager at AdTruth, sat down with us to discuss how TRUSTe helped deliver a mobile and desktop privacy technology solution, providing consumer choice when using interest based advertising dependent on technologies other than cookies.