TRUSTe and Ponemon Institute Announce the Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Award 2006

P&G, HP and E-LOAN Chosen by Consumer Survey and Expert Review

San Francisco, CA – March 7, 2006 - TRUSTe and The Ponemon Institute today released the names of the companies that ranked first, second and third in the annual Most Trusted Company for Privacy Award, P&G, HP and E-LOAN respectively. The winners will be recognized at an award ceremony officiated by Representative Mary Bono of California on Tuesday, March 7 in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill.

The survey was conducted in two stages. 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. In September 2005 the finalists were announced as: American Express, Amazon, P&G, HP, eBay, AOL, USPS, Dell, IBM, Earthlink, Google, Charles Schwab, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, WebMD, E-LOAN, WAMU, Federal Express, Yahoo!, USAA, and Walt Disney Corporation.

“The Most Trusted Company for Privacy Award illustrates the heart of TRUSTe’s mission. It celebrates the brands that respect people’s privacy, encourages a safer digital marketplace and helps Internet users understand privacy issues,” said Fran Maier, president and executive director of TRUSTe. “These three companies are trusted by consumers and experts alike. They are different in size and scope, helping to prove that security concerns aren’t limited to certain industries or giant conglomerates, but apply to everyone.”

The expert panel from TRUSTe, Ponemon Institute and Watchfire, the leading provider of online risk management software and services to help ensure the security and compliance of websites, determined that E-LOAN, HP and P&G best upheld the trust each company has earned from its customers. The expert review included an evaluation of policies and practices as well as interaction with support staff. A narrative describing the survey and review methodology is attached.

"As a global company, P&G's mission is to improve the lives of the world's consumers by creating brands that delight them.  This requires a deep understanding of our consumers, through a strong relationship built on trust," said Sandra R. (Sandy) Hughes, global privacy executive at P&G.  "Privacy is of utmost importance to P&G, consistent with our purpose, values and principles of integrity and 'doing the right thing'.  Being named the Most Trusted Company for this year is truly an honor, reflective of years of work to integrate privacy into all we do and earn the trust of our valued consumers."  

“HP believes the protection of privacy is a fundamental measure of HP’s integrity, both as a business and a global citizen. We support that belief with a global, company-wide privacy organization to ensure our policies are enforced,” said David Lear, vice president, Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility, HP. “Keeping up world-class privacy standards is a matter of constant diligence. We hope to lead by example and help create a safer Internet. TRUSTe is helping to raise these issues in a positive way through these recognition programs.”

“In lending, privacy and trust are cornerstone virtues. As an online direct lender, we are only successful if customers know they are safe while doing business with us. We have worked hard to make every aspect of our company work to the benefit of the borrower,” said Tess Koleczek, chief privacy officer for E-LOAN. “Recognition from Internet users and privacy experts validates that we are on the right track.”

This is the second annual Most Trusted Company award. Previous winners were HP and eBay.

About Ponemon Institute, LLC
Ponemon Institute is a “think tank” dedicated to advancing responsible information management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, Ponemon Institute conducts independent research on privacy and information security, educates leaders from the private and public sectors, and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations. The Institute is headquartered in Michigan. For more information, visit www.ponemon.org or contact (800) 887.3118.

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 web, mobile, cloud and advertising channels. Our cloud-based Data Privacy Management Platform delivers innovative technology products, including website monitoring and advertising compliance controls – along with privacy assessments and certifications. More than 5,000 companies worldwide rely on our DPM platform and globally recognized Certified Privacy Seal to protect/enhance their brand, drive user engagement and minimise compliance risk. For more information, please see http://www.truste.com.

        

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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 web, mobile, cloud and advertising channels. Our cloud-based Data Privacy Management Platform delivers innovative technology products, including website monitoring and advertising compliance controls - along with privacy assessments and certifications. More than 5,000 companies worldwide rely on our DPM platform and globally recognized Certified Privacy Seal to protect / enhance their brand, drive user engagement and minimize compliance risk.