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Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll

The Online Trust and Honor Roll Audit is a comprehensive evaluation of a site's and mobile applications best practices in brand and consumer protection, security and privacy.  This annual comprehensive audit

underscores the importance of continued monitoring of security and privacy practices and the risks of becoming complacent. Yesterday’s practices and technologies may no longer be applicable or meet today’s regulatory or threat landscape.  Now in its 7th year, the 2015 Online Trust Audit Honor Roll expands to a broader set of privacy and security enhancing criteria reflecting input from over 100 companies, consumer advocates and security professionals.  New to the 2015 audit will be an analysis of the Internet of Things (IoT) segment, focusing on the "home automation" and "wearable technologies" and solutions.

2015 Methodology

2015 Methodology Press Release

2015 Briefing Deck (PDF)

2015 Recorded Webinar (YouTube)

2015 Logo Program

The Australia & New Zealand 150 (ANZ 150), released on November 25, 2014, marks an expansion beyond the largest sites to focused geographies.  This report compares the ANZ region to the global report released in June utilizing the same methodology and sampling techniques.

ANZ 150 Audit & Honour Roll Report (PDF - Released Nov 25)

ANZ 150 Press Release (November 25, 2014)

ANZ 150 - List of Sampled Sites

2014 Global Honor Roll Report (June 11, 2014)

Global Honor Roll Press Release (June 11, 2014)

Honor Roll Video Overview (DigiCert Security Summit - November 7, 2014)

2014 Methodology

2014 Global Honor Roll

Out of nearly 800 top consumer websites evaluated in 2014, 28.8% made the Honor Roll, distinguishing themselves by safeguarding data via best practices in three categories: domain/brand protection, privacy and security. Nearly 70% didn't’t qualify with 52.7% failing in at least one of the three categories. Of equal concern, only 4% of the News/Media segment qualified, raising concerns regarding the data security and privacy practices of the world's largest news and media sites.


Charts, Tables & Data

Press Release

Honor Roll Virtual Press Room

Webinar Briefing Video

Webinar Briefing Deck

Industry Support

2013 Archives

History & Evolution of the Honor Roll
Since the foundation of OTA in 2005, OTA has worked to track the progress and adoption of best practices, while highlighting early adopters and "North Stars".  In 2009, OTA formally launched the Online Trust Honor Roll and Online Trust Audit, which today is a comprehensive evaluation of a site's and mobile applications best practices in brand and consumer protection, security and privacy.  Through a composite weighted scoring including over two-dozen data points, sites which achieve a score of 80% or greater are named to the Honor Roll.

2014 Honor Roll Webinar

2014 Online Trust Honor Roll Webinar outlining best practices in brand protection, security and privacy.

OTA Announces Methodology for 2015 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll

Mon, Mar 2, 2015

Monday March 2, 2015 - Seattle, Washington - The Online Trust Alliance announced today the methodology behind their forthcoming 2015 Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll, evaluating the online privacy and security of leading websites. This marks the seventh consecutive year OTA has conducted its Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll report to identify responsible privacy and data security practices. 

Majority of Retailers are Enabling Consumers to Easily Opt out of Email, Yet Others Are Violating CAN-SPAM

Wed, Sep 17, 2014
SEATTLE—Sept. 17, 2014—The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, revealed today results of an OTA inspection of which retailers are enabling consumers to easily opt out of email lists. OTA reported that 70 percent of the top 200 online retailers have moved beyond compliance and are demonstrating a commitment to user empowerment and control of their inboxes. The merchants passed the inspection by implementing at least eight out of 10 of what industry leaders consider unsubscribe best practices.

Unsubscribe Best Practices - Moving From Compliance To Stewardship

Consumers often react negatively to email which they feel is irrelevant to their interests or which may be sent to their inboxes too frequently. Today ISPs are placing added weight on user engagement to make a determination on the placement of email into the user’s inbox, junk or spam folder. With these considerations, it is in any marketer’s best interest to create a trustworthy unsubscribe mechanism for their recipients. The opt-out function should be easily discoverable and useable. OTA encourages mailers to move past the minimum compliance requirements outlined in the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act and the recently passed Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). More >

2014 Email Integrity Audit

The Email Integrity Audit report is a companion to the 2014 Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll report released in June 2014. This Audit provides an in depth review of email security best practices, focusing on the best practices necessary to help detect and block spoofed and forged email. The Audit tracks the adoption of three critical email authentication standards; Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC). The report also covers related best practices including Transport Layer Security (TLS).

2013 Honor Roll Highlights

Highlights from the 2013 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll.

Jun 19, 2014

One recent “Honor Roll” report highlights leading brands’ data privacy and security success, offering failing sectors suggestions on how to improve processes and boost reputation.

Jun 15, 2014

The Online Trust Alliance released its 2014 list of websites and mobile applications that do things the right way when it comes to consumer safety, implementing best-use practices to make sure their customers are secure, and their data is private and protected.

Jun 13, 2014

Twitter nabbed the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row as the most trustworthy consumer website, according to a new report from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA).


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