TRUSTe Announces First Wireless Privacy Standards to Protect Mobile Users
TRUSTe Teams with Industry Leaders Including AT&T Wireless, MMA and Microsoft to Form Wireless Advisory Committee
San Francisco, CA – February 18, 2004 - TRUSTe, the leading Internet privacy seal program, today announced the launch of its Wireless Privacy Principles and Implementation Guidelines which provide vendors serving the mobile market with actionable and practical guidelines for protecting consumer privacy. As part of this program, TRUSTe, along with leading partners AT&T Wireless and Microsoft, have formed the Wireless Advisory Committee whose function is to promote privacy standards to increase consumer use of advanced wireless features and applications. Other members of the Wireless Advisory Committee include HP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Wireless Location Industry Association (WLIA) and consumer advocacy groups the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC). New participants are committing to the next phase of the program, including wireless applications provider Kivera. As wireless innovation has grown, so have the potential privacy issues impacting consumers. For example, Location Based Services, while limited in current availability, present a potential privacy challenge due to their ability to locate and market to consumers real-time via a wireless device, prior to receiving user consent. The Wireless Advisory Committee will work with companies providing wireless data and wireless web services, to ensure that specific standards regarding consumer notice and consumer consent are achieved. In the case of Location Based Services, vendors would be required to adhere to an "opt-in" only policy.
"This is only the first, but most challenging phase, in launching a privacy program for the wireless medium to build trust with mobile users," said Fran Maier, executive director and president of TRUSTe. "The roster of members in the Wireless Advisory Committee demonstrates the sense of urgency felt by wireless data and content providers as they attempt to tackle the privacy issue. TRUSTe is evolving in step with the overall privacy landscape, and our organization is well-positioned to collaborate with the wireless industry in its efforts to protect consumer privacy."
Key Principles within the Wireless Privacy Principles and Implementation Guidelines include:
"Microsoft recognizes the vital role played by industry groups that are actively engaged in promoting privacy standards, and we remain committed to working with other industry leaders to put consumers in control of their personal information," said Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft Corporation. "While the use of personal information to provide enhanced services and value to customers has been a common practice among businesses for decades, the convenience and ubiquity of wireless technology creates unique privacy considerations that we are pleased to be proactively addressing as a member of TRUSTe's Wireless Advisory Committee."
"These principles represent an important step toward assuring that the interest of individuals in the privacy of the information generated in their wireless communications is protected. We hope that companies will adopt and adhere to these principles and we will be watching closely to determine their effectiveness for consumers," said Paula Bruening, staff counsel, Center for Democracy and Technology.
TRUSTe is the leading global privacy management solutions provider and offers a broad suite of solutions that enable multinational companies to safely and efficiently handle the customer data powering their online businesses - including advertising, cloud services, mobile applications, and websites. Over 5,000 web properties from top companies like Apple, Disney, eBay, Forbes, HP, and Microsoft rely on TRUSTe to ensure compliance with evolving and complex international 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 worldwide as a sign of responsible privacy practices. For additional information on TRUSTe and its offerings, please visit http://www.truste.com.