TRUSTe Expands Service Offerings to Protect Consumer Privacy and Corporate Reputations from Emerging Threats

Acquisition of Haute Secure Delivers Automated Scanning of Domains For Threats from User-Generated Content and Advanced Malware Attacks

San Francisco, Calif. – April 16, 2009 - Privacy and security threats are morphing at lightning speed as daily activities increasingly move to the digital realm. In response, TRUSTe, the leading trustmark and recognized authority on Internet privacy, today announced the acquisition of Haute Secure, developer of innovative Website scanning and anti-malware technology. The move will further advance TRUSTe’s technologies for certifying web privacy practices and protecting the consumers who visit Websites carrying the TRUSTe seal.

“In a highly networked world, it’s critical for businesses to communicate, conduct commerce, and build communities online,” said Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe. “TRUSTe is expanding its services to extend beyond privacy certification and enforcement to include more points at which consumer trust can be compromised. Ultimately, this is about giving people a sense of confidence—that they can trust the Website, and by extension, the company behind it.”

This acquisition expands TRUSTe’s team and technology capabilities to provide more extensive site scanning and monitoring to better serve its leading clients, reach more small businesses, and help consumers better identify who to trust with their personal information. In addition, TRUSTe will offer reputation and anti-malware scanning services directly to browsers, online communities and other websites interested in protecting their users. This new technology enables TRUSTe to:

  • Deliver privacy benchmarking, security scanning, and enhanced compliance monitoring to its premier client base
  • Provide deep inspection of a broad range of user-generated and Web 2.0 content, including blog postings, photo uploads and online advertising
  • Help small businesses establish, build, maintain and repair a positive reputation for privacy and security protection that increases consumer confidence

TRUSTe has been at the forefront of online privacy for more than 10 years, certifying more than 3,500 of the most highly trafficked Websites and effectively protecting the privacy of hundreds of millions of consumers per month.

“In order to stay current, trusted businesses enhance their websites to support all kinds of user interaction, but unfortunately, this becomes a feeding ground for ‘bad guys’ who see opportunities to infiltrate legitimate sites,” said Iain Mulholland, co-founder of Haute Secure, who will now lead the technology efforts at TRUSTe. “Most online criminals are terribly smart and web-savvy, rivaling the top engineers of Silicon Valley. Their 'no-rules' approach to stealing valuable personal information makes them a significant privacy threat.”

The threat landscape is shifting, posing new challenges to well-established brands. As Websites carry more user-generated content, they inadvertently open the door to new vulnerabilities, making even the most mainstream addresses on the Web potential targets of online criminal activity. Common online content, such as blog comments to discussion boards, can include file links leading to compromised or illegitimate Websites. Potential problems can also arise from malicious code embedded in uploaded images.

"Opera serves more than 35 million users, who each rely on a secure browser to surf the Internet. Opera’s reputation for top notch fraud protection enables us to be an industry leader in security,” said Jan Standal, Senior Director of Product Management, Opera. "By providing a very accurate and up-to-the-minute reputation check for compromised Websites, Haute Secure technology has allowed us to protect millions of consumers from dangerous malware threats. Our unique Fraud Protection architecture, combined with Haute Secure's technology ability to filter down to the path level, keeps our users secure while minimizing interruptions to the browsing experience."

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.