SOURCE: Online Trust Alliance

Online Trust Alliance

November 19, 2013 13:00 ET

OTA Expands Online Trust Audit Focus on Trust Scores of Leading Web Sites and Mobile Applications

Highlighting Best Practices & North Stars

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Nov 19, 2013) - Today at the Federal Trade Commission's "Internet of Things" workshop, the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) announced the expansion of its Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll to include leading mobile applications. Now in its fifth year, the OTA 2014 Audit will continue to recognize companies who have adopted leading security and privacy best practices, demonstrating a commitment to consumer protection.

With the rapid pace of innovation in mobile applications and online services, there is increasing concern on the adoption of security, data protection and privacy best practices. Consumers have little guidance and often blindly download mobile apps without knowledge of the security threats, privacy risks or how applications may share their personal data such as contacts and geo-location. The 2014 program will expand from over 750 web sites representing banking, social, commerce and gaming into similar categories of mobile applications across leading OS platforms.

Supported by leading brands, application developers and consumer groups, the Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll is designed to recognize leading security and privacy practices that aid in the protection of online trust and users' data. The goal is to raise awareness in the mobile community and provide prescriptive, actionable advice.

"Recent TRUSTe research reveals that a lack of trust can have significant business implications -- 78% of consumers will not download an app that they don't trust," said Chris Babel, CEO for TRUSTe. "The Online Trust Alliance's move to now include a review of mobile apps as part of the OTA audit can help provide consumers with enhanced transparency of data protection and privacy practices."

"The OTA Online Trust Audit has demonstrated that the majority of business leaders recognize the need to move from compliance to stewardship, taking a holistic view of security and privacy," said Craig Spiezle, President and Executive Director of OTA. "Expanding to mobile supports consumer demand for trustworthy applications and provides actionable guidance to enhance consumer protection."

The OTA Audit will incorporate a composite analysis and weighted scoring methodology. Based on feedback from participants in the U.S. Department of Commerce's NTIA multi-stakeholder process on mobile application transparency, the Audit will provide vendor neutral advice when visiting a web site or downloading a mobile application. The methodology is in final review with leading organizations including Agari, Return Path, RiskIQ, TRUSTe, and others who are contributing technology and data to power this program. 

Stakeholders are encouraged to submit testing and sampling recommendations by Friday December 20, 2013, by emailing admin@otalliance.org. Additional information is posted at https://otalliance.org/HonorRoll.html. The final methodology will be released in January. 

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA)
The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) is a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, while promoting innovation and the vitality of the internet. OTA's goal is to help educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders while developing and advancing best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users' security, privacy and identity. OTA supports collaborative public-private partnerships, benchmark reporting, meaningful self-regulation and data stewardship. https://otalliance.org

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