TRUSTe and Ponemon Institute Name Hewlett-Packard, Intuit and AOL the Top Three Most Trusted Companies of 2007 for Privacy

San Francisco – January 30, 2008 – TRUSTe the leading internet privacy seal-of-approval , in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute, have announced that Hewlett-Packard, Intuit Inc. and AOL have been honored as the Most Trusted Companies for Privacy for 2007. The winners were announced on Tuesday evening, January 29, in Washington DC at the Congressional Internet Caucus faculty reception. The award is designed to celebrate the companies who take active measures to protect and inform their consumers and to encourage a safer online ecosystem.

In conjunction with the Ponemon Institute, TRUSTe conducted a two-stage survey to gauge the privacy policies and practices of over 200 companies. The twenty companies rated most trusted in an unaided consumer survey moved on to the expert review where policies, practices, and execution were tested for consistent care with regard to privacy issues. The expert review included an evaluation of policies and practices as well as interaction with support staff.

The companies were judged by rigorous criteria which included the clarity and readability of privacy statements and notice, account information access and the ability to make changes, cookie practices, in-network and out-of-network data sharing practices, choice, regulation, infrastructure and customer service, among others. HP, Intuit and AOL consistently met or exceeded expectations on all fourteen criteria. Results showed that privacy is a major priority to the top companies, with 95 percent presenting a link to the privacy statement on their homepage and 73 percent designating a chief privacy officer or other senior level executive charged with data privacy responsibility. View the full report.

"It's an honor to be recognized this year for our leadership in protecting consumer privacy," said Scott Taylor, chief privacy officer, HP. "HP realizes the importance of privacy and trust not only to our customers but also to the success of our business. It comes down to respecting individuals and their right to privacy, and that's why we hold ourselves accountable to a higher standard."

“Our customers hold us to high standards of care because of the financial information we handle, so privacy is a vital aspect of how we run our business,” said Barb Lawler, chief privacy officer, Intuit. “We are pleased to receive this award from TRUSTe and the Ponemon Institute, and we will continue to uphold the utmost standards of privacy for which we’ve been recognized.”

"As Internet users interact with each other, use content and view advertising in new ways across multiple platforms, we believe it's important for companies to step up and provide transparency and control to ensure consumers' trust,” said Jules Polonetsky, Chief Privacy Officer, AOL. "We are honored to be recognized by TRUSTe for our continued efforts to protect consumers on the Internet."

Editor's Note:
TRUSTe and the Ponemon Institute will host a Webinar to discuss the Most Trusted Companies for Privacy award on February 7, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. PST. Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of the Ponemon Institute will present. To RSVP for the Webinar, please send an email to webinar@truste.com with the words “Most Trusted Company for Privacy Award” in the subject line.

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.

        

Media Contacts

Whitney MacDonald
Access Communications
(415) 844-6294
wmacdonald@accesspr.com

Carolyn Hodge
TRUSTe
(415) 520-3415
chodge@truste.com