May 20, 2011 09:00 ET

TRUSTe Debuts "Truth in Privacy" Framework -- Extending Its Mission to Encompass Emerging Digital Technologies

Launches TRUSTed Notices -- Consumer-Friendly, Short-Form Privacy Policies

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - Today, at the Privacy Identity Innovation conference (pii2011), TRUSTe, the leading online privacy solutions provider, unveiled "Truth in Privacy" and TRUSTed Notices. Truth in Privacy extends TRUSTe's mission to ensure consumers are offered increased transparency regarding privacy practices, accessible choices regarding the use of personal information, and ongoing accountability through TRUSTe privacy certification. As an embodiment of Truth in Privacy, TRUSTed Notices are short-form privacy notices focused on providing consumers accessible disclosures and choices. The new privacy notices will be rolled out to more than 2,000 of TRUSTe's existing customers -- reaching millions of online consumers -- by the end of the year. For a visual preview of TRUSTe's new TRUSTed Notices, please go to

Truth in Privacy
Truth in Privacy, as reflected in TRUSTe's trustmark and TRUSTe services, means that when consumers see the TRUSTe brand, in any online situation -- whether targeted advertising, mobile or social networking activities -- they can be confident about the privacy practices of the organization, including:

  • Accurate and comprehensive disclosures about the use of personal information, in accessible and understandable privacy statements and other notices;
  • Choices and tools to proactively set boundaries regarding the use of personal information including the ability to set choice regarding online behavioral advertising, sensitive information, and for sharing with third-parties; and
  • Ability to go to the company directly or to TRUSTe to resolve any privacy related concerns.

Truth in Privacy also enables businesses to ensure that they are collecting consumer information responsibly and in accordance with current governing laws and regulations.

"As existing online platforms continue to be transformed through online behavioral advertising, social networking and mobile web technologies, online privacy requirements are being radically altered," said Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe. "Truth in Privacy expands our mission to ensure transparency, choice and accountability are provided by establishing policies that are more easily accessible and understood. By making it easier for consumers to understand privacy policies, businesses are more accountable to their privacy obligations and can more quickly implement customer choices."

"As the volume and complexity of data moves to the cloud, responsible and secure use of customer data is paramount," said Barb Lawler, Intuit's chief privacy officer. "TRUSTe's approach is in line with Intuit's own data stewardship principles that guide how we think about and how we use customer data."

"TRUSTed Notices are 'actionable,' which is key to showing users that they are in control of what happens to their data," said Jules Polonetsky, co-chair of The Future of Privacy Forum. "By focusing on the most important options and immediate choices, TRUSTe has shown that it is possible to provide users timely privacy information no matter what device they are using."

TRUSTed Notices
TRUSTe developed TRUSTed Notices as part of its Consumer Privacy Platform in response to user dissatisfaction with privacy policies, the Federal Trade Commission's call for increased transparency and accountability, and the ongoing introduction of new online technologies. The FTC's Privacy Report -- issued last December -- calls for simplified consumer privacy notices to explain policies regarding the sharing and use of personal information in ways that are easier for consumers to understand.

TRUSTe relied on feedback from extensive user testing and consumer surveys to develop TRUSTed Notices. In a recent TRUSTe survey on mobile privacy conducted with Harris Interactive, almost 70 percent of users indicated that they would be more likely to read a privacy policy that is easier to navigate and read. Nearly all agreed that having visibility into the information being collected and easy access to controls regarding the sharing of personal information inside a mobile application was important.

TRUSTed Notices provide consumers with clear guidance and immediate context into all online decisions being made in emerging technology areas, such as mobile commerce; online behavioral advertising (OBA); and social networking. TRUSTed Notices includes the following features:

  • Consumer-optimized privacy disclosure for websites featuring only the most relevant considerations and direct access to choices and tools;
  • Clear and concise explanations regarding choice and preferences at the point of data collection for OBA and third-party data usage; and
  • Layered, short-form privacy notices designed to maximize user-friendliness and accessibility, particularly on a smaller mobile form factor.

"We strive to meet our customer's high expectations when it comes to the safety and privacy of their information on our website," said Michelle Beresford, co-founder and COO of Home Leisure Direct. "There is no easier way to demonstrate this commitment than by displaying a TRUSTe seal and directing them to our consumer-friendly privacy policy -- powered by TRUSTed Notices -- where they can easily view our privacy practices summary, the disclosures they care most about and choices they have in regards to their personal information."

TRUSTe's Truth in Privacy framework and TRUSTed Notices will be discussed today at pii2011 Silicon Valley in a keynote address by Fran Maier, President of TRUSTe, titled "The End of the Privacy Policy as We Know It." TRUSTe will also participate in a panel, "Simplifying Privacy Notice," on changes needed for evolving platforms. The entire conference schedule can be accessed here.

About TRUSTe
TRUSTe is the leading online privacy solutions provider and provides a broad suite of privacy services to help businesses build trust and increase engagement across all of their online channels -- including websites, mobile applications, advertising, cloud services, business analytics and email marketing. Over 4,000 web properties including those from top companies like Apple, AT&T, Disney, eBay, Facebook, HP, Microsoft, Nationwide, Pfizer and Yelp rely on TRUSTe to ensure compliance with evolving and complex privacy requirements. TRUSTe's mission, based on a "Truth in Privacy" framework, is built on a solid foundation of transparency, choice and accountability regarding the collection and use of personal information. TRUSTe's privacy seal is recognized and trusted by millions of consumers as a sign of responsible privacy practices. For additional information on TRUSTe and its offerings, please visit

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