New Research Reveals High Levels of Tracking on Children’s Websites, TRUSTe Enhances COPPA Solutions

Today, TRUSTe launched its latest consumer privacy research focused on tracking within top websites visited by children and expanded its COPPA compliance solutions to include website monitoring and a new verifiable parental consent (VPC) service from AssertID.

COPPA was originally enacted to help ensure basic privacy protections are in place by involving parents directly and “give them control over what information websites can collect from their kids.”  In 2013, The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) was updated to now include tracking as part of the definition of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

When your business is spread across various online channels, it is important to understand what tracking activity your customers are exposed to in order to build trust with and protect your customers.

The TRUSTe Website Monitoring Service was used in the TRUSTe Privacy Index: Kids Edition to scan 40 of the top websites visited by children as ranked by Alexa.com. Of these websites, 1,110 third party trackers were found actively collecting children’s information from 644 unique tracking organizations. On average, 24 third party trackers were found on pre-school websites, 25 on education sites, 29 on gaming sites and 34 on entertainment sites. The level of tracking varied significantly, ranging from less than 10 to over 180 tracking organizations on the 40 sites analyzed.

Based on this research, online companies need to continuously monitor data collection across all online properties, including mobile apps and websites. If properties target children under the age of 13, companies may need to consider COPPA compliance.

If a company does need to comply with COPPA, it may require the use of a VPC mechanism. Implementing COPPA historically has been challenging because it presented website operators with the need to obtain parental consent by using VPC.  However, operators lacked a real technology solution to allow for this consent to be gathered and used in an unobtrusive and economic way.  While the law and use of VPC was well-intended, it did not realistically do what it is supposed to do — protect kids.

TRUSTe is expanding its COPPA compliance solutions to include website monitoring and a new VPC service through a new partnership with AssertID. This solution helps both parents and website operators comply with COPPA and succeed in protecting kids’ privacy online.

In addition to certifying companies’ compliance with COPPA, the TRUSTe Data Privacy Platform provides website operators with complete visibility into the data collection and use of tracking technologies on their site through the Website Monitoring Service, along with controls to provide VPC through a new partnership with AssertID.

The TRUSTe Privacy Index: Kids Edition also reveals 87% of consumers with a child in the household avoid doing business with companies who they do not believe protect their privacy.  This shows that compliance is not the only reason companies need to be transparent about their data handling practices – consumers are making decisions that can affect their bottom lines if they do not feel the businesses can be trusted.

For more details on the study, download the research infographic here and to learn about how TRUSTe can help your company comply with COPPA, click here.


TRUSTe & Cecile Park Publishing to Develop Publication on IoT Privacy Needs

TRUSTe is proud to announce Cecile Park Publishing as a media partner for the Internet of Things Privacy Summit taking place on July 10th in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Cecile Park is a publisher of world-leading legal journals and specializes in monitoring, and alleviating legal and regulatory risk in key business sectors.

Through this joint venture, TRUSTe will work with Cecile Park to deliver a premier conference publication focused on the privacy needs of the new interconnected world.  The publication will include the conference’s final program and a series of articles from notable speakers at the Summit.

The publication will be published in November 2014 and available to all individuals participating in the IAPP Data Protection Congress in Brussels and the Global Summit in Washington, D.C.


TRUSTe App Ensures Ad Compliance and Drives Consumer Relevance

This week, Facebook announced that they will start tracking their user’s online behavior in order to serve more targeted ads. This means that Facebook users will now start seeing more relevant ads based on their interests, benefitting advertisers in the process.

Today, we’re continuing this trend by bringing advertisers one step closer towards understanding the needs of consumers and what they want out of their online experience. We released the TRUSTe App to help consumers get the true value out of online ads and directly share their interests with the ad ecosystem – helping advertisers drive the growth and relevance of interest-based ads in a privacy-safe manner.

Finding the right balance between privacy and personalization for consumers has led to the creation of self-regulatory guidelines to help provide consumers with a way to manage their privacy online, which, up till now, has only had oversimplified mechanisms for entirely opting out (or back in to) targeted advertising. We’re taking things a step further by offering a simple way for consumers to also tell advertisers the type of ads they want to see in the easy-to-use TRUSTe App.

The TRUSTe App combines TRUSTed Ads, our comprehensive ad privacy compliance solution, with TRUSTed Interests, a consumer interests management solution. It allows consumers to actively manage their personal preferences for interest-based advertising and share interests with our ad partners for a customized privacy-safe advertising experience. The App also helps advertisers ensure compliance with industry self-regulatory guidelines.

The TRUSTe App provides further insight into the interests of consumers as it puts revolutionary technology in the hands of everyone to build a richer, more relevant advertising ecosystem.

Download the app today for free from the App Store (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch), or at Google Play (Android).


Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Makes the Case for TRUSTe Data Privacy Management Platform Investment

ROI from data privacy management by TRUSTe & Forrester Research.Privacy regulations have increased in complexity leading to greater need for data privacy management. However, when it comes time to secure budget for privacy management resources it’s often hard for CPOs to quantify the return on investment (ROI).

Today in the second of its three-part webinar series, TRUSTe and Forrester Research discussed the potential ROI that enterprises may realize by deploying the TRUSTe Data Privacy Management Platform.  The newly released “The Total Economic Impact ™ of TRUSTe Study” outlines the cost savings and business benefits for organizations enabled through TRUSTe.

The Forrester Consulting team conducted in-depth interviews with our customers, and then analyzed benefits, costs and risks associated with implementing the TRUSTe Data Privacy Management Platform (DPMP).  Prior to working with TRUSTe, these companies used in-house lawyers, consultants and outside counsel to get industry best practices, operational guidance and legal advice needed to ensure they were following applicable privacy laws and regulations.

Forrester then calculated the financial benefit for using the TRUSTe Data Privacy Management Platform based on real-customer data.  The results were quite telling:

“Based on our analysis of customer feedback, Forrester has determined that deploying the TRUSTe platform has a three-year risk-adjusted ROI of 151% and NPV of $375,000.”

The study helps quantify the impact of privacy investment and demonstrates how the investment for many is a financially sound business decision.  For those who are under-investing, it can help them internally develop the business case for increased investment.

The study also provides a framework for all companies to look at the topic of data privacy management, have internal dialogue, and make data-driven privacy investment decisions.

Download your copy of the report here and register today for the remaining session of this informative webinar series:

July 24thPart III:  Privacy Investment Success Stories, featuring Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe and partners. Attendees will hear from leading brands on how they manage privacy at their companies and learn best practices and tips on staffing, organizational models, tools, metrics, and much more.


TRUSTe Named to OTA Honor Roll for Fifth Year in a Row

TRUSTe has been named to the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) 2014 Online Trust & Honor Roll for the fifth year in a row. The honor roll recognizes a firm’s commitment to best practices in security, privacy and data stewardship.

OTA is a nonprofit organization focused on working with industry leaders to enhance online trust and empower users while promoting innovation and growth of the internet. The OTA helps educate businesses, policy makers and stakeholders during the development of advanced best practices and tools to enhance the protection of users’ security, privacy and identity.  Supports collaborative public-private partnerships, benchmark reporting, self-regulation and data stewardship.

The 2014 OTA includes a composite analysis focusing on three major categories:

  1. Domain, Brand & Consumer Protection
  2. Site, Server & Infrastructure Security
  3. DATA Protection, Privacy & Transparency

In addition to increased scoring criteria raising the bar in this year report, the 2014 report includes scoring for sites who comply with California Do Not Track Disclosers, have adopted short/layered privacy policies and have implemented Tab Management Systems or Privacy Solutions.

“Consumer protection, data security and privacy are key to consumer trust and the vitality of the internet,”  said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and Founder, Online Trust Alliance. “TRUSTe exemplifies the recognition of the importance of these issues and continues to lead by example.”

“Consumer protection, data security and privacy are key to consumer trust and the vitality of the internet,”  said Craig Spiezle, Executive Director and Founder, Online Trust Alliance. “TRUSTe exemplifies the recognition of the importance of these issues and continues to lead by example.”

Being named to the 2014 Honor Roll is a significant achievement considering only 30% qualified for the Honor Roll and 52.7% failed in one or more areas.  The large number of companies that received failing marks included inadequate domain and consumer protection (31%), insecure websites (11%), and inadequate privacy policies or data collection practices (28%).

Download a free copy of the report here


Tweet Chat on Internet of Things (IoT) & Big Data Privacy

Tweet Chat on online privacy of digital assets, big data and IoT devices from TRUSTe.

Are you wondering how the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data will impact you and your privacy?

Information about your physical activity, daily habits and physical location are some of the most personal and sensitive details about you, yet most of us are unaware of all the places our data may go on a given day.

Join privacy experts Ray Everett of TRUSTe, Justin Brookman of The Center for Democracy & Technology, Lookout and Data Privacy Day for a Tweet Chat (#ChatDPD) on June 11th at 12pm PT/3pm ET to discover new information and steps you can take to manage your online privacy in a digitally connected world.

All the Places Your Data Can Go
Wednesday, June 11th at 12pm PT/3pm ET
Moderator: @DataPrivacyDay
Panelists: @Truste @JustinBrookman @Lookout

Use the hashtag #ChatDPD to join!

Updated 7/7/14: If you missed the chat, read the transcript at http://bit.ly/1ucjqOj


Is Your Company Investing in Data Privacy Management?

As businesses continue to invest in data, there is an increased need to effectively manage the privacy of that data on an ongoing basis. In an attempt to avoid violations associated with consumer privacy rights and the media attention that comes with it, companies must proactively invest in protecting consumer data that is regularly collected, used and stored across various online channels. Data privacy management is complex and it can be difficult to secure internal buy-in for investment. The justification needed in terms of strategy, ROI and best practices are critical components in proving the value of the additional investment.

On May 14th, TRUSTe and Forrester Research partnered to host the first of a special three-part webinar series titled “Making the Most of Your Data Privacy Management Investment.” Part I: the New Privacy, It’s All About Context, featured presenters Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe and by Fatemeh Khatibloo, Sr. Analysis at Forrester. This useful session touched on the following key points:

  • Explained how privacy pays off in the competitive landscape, the ever-important data value exchange between customers and businesses; and how transparency, notice and choice are the building blocks in creating trust for brands.
  • Provided details on how the right data privacy practices along with a contextual privacy approach can help drive new business opportunities and allow companies to differentiate from competitors and avoid unnecessary brand and compliance risk.

Register today for the remaining sessions of this informative webinar series:

  • July 24thPart III:  Privacy Investment Success Stories, featuring Chris Babel, CEO TRUSTe and partners. Attendees will hear from leading brands on how they manage privacy at their companies and learn best practices and tips on staffing, organizational models, tools, metrics, and much more.


June Monthly Spotlight

- June 10

MEF 3rd Annual Consumer Trust Summit

Washington, D.C.

Rich Qiu, Vice President of Business Development, Mobile at TRUSTe will speak at the third annual MEF Consumer Trust Summit where lawmakers and industry meet to find the right balance between monetization and consumer protection.

- June 12

Forrester & TRUSTe Webinar Series: Part II: Total Economic Impact

Join TRUSTe for a special three-part webinar series with special guests from Forrester Research, Inc. and learn about the latest independent research, case studies and opinions from leading privacy experts.

The second webinar in the series will focus on cost-savings and quantifiable business benefits with the implementation of an effective privacy strategy. Forrester will walk through the new whitepaper, “The Total Economic Impact™ of TRUSTe: Cost Savings And Business Benefits Enabled By TRUSTe’s Data Privacy Management Platform”,  which will show proven ROI based on real-life customer examples.

By attending this webinar you will learn:

  • The challenges organizations face to get internal buy-in for privacy investment
  • How the Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) framework helps measure ROI to enable informed decision making
  • The benefits, costs and risks associated with implementing a privacy management solution
  • How TRUSTe solutions have helped numerous leading brands show positive ROI for over 15+ years

 Speakers include TRUSTe Vice President of Marketing Dave Deasy and Forrester Senior Consultant Norman Forbush.  Register online today!

- June 18

Mobile App Design Awards


 TRUSTe is partnering with the UK Mobile & App Design Awards to see privacy added as a entry criteria for the first time in this global Grand Slam Series where Apps from UK, USA, Asia and Australia compete. Awards covering over 30 categories provide recognition across the App design spectrum and are a unique opportunity to see the best start-ups, digital agencies and enterprise teams compete in local markets. The Awards are run by design100, the leading global forum for applied design, accelerating the transformation to a design-led marketplace.

 The UK Mobile & App Design Award Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on June 18 as part of the first ever London Technology Week.

- June 19

Kids Privacy Breakfast Workshop


Understanding the sensitivities, legal framework and best practice solutions for protecting children’s privacy online. The post-Millennial generation of consumers is growing up to be the most technologically savvy and privacy conscious yet. Whether this is your core market or just a part of your wider audience you need to be seen as trustworthy recipients of kids’ data.

Joanne Furtsch, Director of Product Policy, TRUSTe will be joined by Susan Boynton, Principal Counsel EMEA, Disney and Sue Gold, Partner, Osborne Clarke for a panel discussion on how companies use privacy as a differentiator and privacy best practice solutions for collecting, using and sharing data about Generation Z consumers.

By attending this workshop you will:

  • Learn about current global regulatory requirements for collecting, using and sharing Children’s data including recent changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the US
  • Receive a copy of the latest research into the levels of tracking and third party data sharing on top children’s websites
  • Understand the latest privacy technology solutions available through TRUSTe’s Data Privacy Management Platform
  • Gain insight into current industry trends and potential implications of the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation
  • Network with European privacy colleagues and hear best practice case studies

Email Eleanor Treharne-Jones (eleanor@truste.com) to request your seat today!

- June 26

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Summit

San Francisco

 Rich Qiu, Vice President of Business Development, Mobile at TRUSTe will speak at the annual DAA Summit. The event is a unique opportunity for DAA program participants for sustained engagement on the opportunities – and challenges – for industry self-regulation of relevant online advertising. This year’s theme is “Protecting Innovation and Consumer Value Through Transparency and Control”:

  •  Implementing effective consumer transparency and control in the multi-screen environment
  • Building understanding of the economic value of relevant advertising to the ad-support Interne
  • Self-regulation as a key foundation of continued innovation in the digital economy


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