TRUSTe and Adgregate Markets Partner to Make Facebook Shopping Safer for Consumers

Multi-year partnership launches industry-first consumer privacy-certified social commerce platform

SAN FRANCISCO - April 19, 2010 –Consumers can now confidently buy from social network applications and online ads, thanks in part to a new partnership announced today by TRUSTe and Adgregate Markets. TRUSTe, provider of the leading online privacy trust mark and the leader in enhancing online trust between consumers and businesses, and Adgregate Markets, the leader in transactional advertising and distributed commerce solutions, announced a joint effort to develop the world’s first privacy standards for distributed commerce ads and applications for online, mobile, and social networks. As part of this partnership, TRUSTe has certified Adgregate web privacy practices and verified that the customer data management practices of Adgregate's distributed commerce platform and Adgregate’s platform of products, including ShopFansTM, ShopAdsTM, and SecureAdsTM uphold Adgregate’s privacy commitment. TRUSTe’s seal will be in Adgregate’s ads and widgets giving consumers added confidence when they engage on these new platforms. 

TRUSTe and Adgregate are pioneering the shift from a rigid "destination commerce” web, dominated by discrete websites, to a "distributed web" where commerce happens across the web in portable applications, ads, and widgets using technology often provided by 3rd party service providers. A recent report by ForeSee indicates that, of the 69 percent of online shoppers who are social media users, 56 percent have chosen to "friend," "follow," or "subscribe to" at least one store brand on Facebook. Another report commissioned by Opinion Research Corporation and Yesmail found that nearly half (45 percent) of survey respondents use social networks to research items, compare prices, and look for offers.

"Our TRUSTe-certified clients are following their customers into social and mobile networks, which means we have to follow our clients and provide them with solutions which maintain the best of breed privacy standards and guidelines from their existing websites and for the service provider technologies they are using," said Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe. "By endorsing Adgregate’s distributed commerce products, TRUSTe is now the leading trustmark from behavioral advertising to transactional advertising.”

Although some brands have experimented with social commerce, the limiting factor to date has been overcoming a lack of consumer trust. A recent Consumer Reports study found that 71 percent of consumers look for a trustmark or privacy seal before doing online business with a merchant. A recent consumer study conducted by TNS found that 82% of consumers trust TRUSTe and find the privacy seal useful in deciding when and how to disclose personal information . Now that Adgregate and TRUSTe have set the gold standard for consumer privacy protection, social commerce adoption is poised to increase significantly with Adgregate’s proprietary solutions.

“Social commerce is a bit like the wild west right now, where the bad guys are up to their old tricks, looking to drive scams and theft identities where vulnerable,” said Henry Wong, CEO, Adgregate Markets. “As a result, conveying top level privacy and security should be tantamount to a brand’s reputation. Our partnership with TRUSTe will help instill this trust throughout social and distributed commerce for brands wanting the platinum standard for consumer trust and privacy.”

Source: “TRUSTe Brand Awareness Study”. TNS. February 2010.  

About TRUSTe
TRUSTe is the leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company and powers trust in the data economy by enabling businesses to safely collect and use customer data across their customer, employee, and vendor channels. Our SaaS-based DPM Platform gives users control over all phases of data privacy management from conducting assessments and implementing compliance controls to managing ongoing monitoring. Our DPM Services, including assessments and certifications, are delivered by an expert team of privacy professionals. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on TRUSTe to minimize compliance risk and protect their brand.

About Adgregate Markets
Adgregate Markets is the leading provider of transactional advertising and distributed commerce solutions. ShopAdsTM guide prospective customers from the point of discovery to the point of purchase entirely within innovative online and mobile ads. ShopFansTM brings true social commerce to Facebook, and SecureAdsTM are the world’s most secure ads. Adgregate is a privately held company based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is venture-backed by leading investors. Adgregate has received numerous industry awards for its innovative advertising technology, including Techcrunch50 Finalist and AlwaysOn OnMedia 100 Winner, recognizing the top private companies in digital media and advertising. For additional information, please visit