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Formed as an informal industry working group in 2005,  in 2007 OTA was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a501c6 trade organization.  In 2012 the IRS re-classified OTA as a 501c3  charitable organization.  Operating independently through May 2017, OTA is now part of the Internet Society.  OTA's  mission remains committed to enhancing online trust and empower users, while promoting innovation and the vitality of the internet. 

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OTA goals include:

Organization & History
Faced with increasing levels of spam and deceptive email, in early 2004, a group of business, industry and marketing leaders led by Epsilon Interactive, Email Senders and Provider Coalition (ESPC), The Direct Marketing Association, Microsoft, Symantec and Sendmail  began meeting to pursue solutions to authenticate email and improve user confidence.  Following the FTC Authentication Summit in October 2004, a decision was made to take decisive action to advance authenticated email, and in July 2005, the first Email Authentication Summit was hosted in New York City.  Underwritten by over three dozen industry and business leaders, this premier event was sold out with over 450 attendees.  Responding to industry and governmental input, the alliance moved forward developing tools and resources, hosting the second Authentication & Reputation Summit in Chicago in April 2006.  Once again the Summit was a sell-out with over 500 attendees, followed with the successful two-day Summit in Boston in April 2007, expanding the scope to online trust and confidence.  

In September 2007, the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (AOTA) was formed as an IRS and Washington State approved non-profit organization. In June 2008, AOTA hosted our 4th Summit in Seattle Washington and added an email academy to improve professional competencies.  In March 2009, the Board of Directors and Steering Committee voted to change the name  to the Online Trust Alliance, (OTA), representing a broader global view of the issues impacting consumer trust and online brand reputation, including privacy, identity theft and internet governance. 

Reflecting OTA's activities, mission statement and long-term commitment to education and activities for the betterment of all internet, on August 20, 2012, the OTA Board of Directors unanimously approved the application to the IRS for 501c3 non-profit status.  In December 2013, the IRS approved OTA's application retroactive to September 12, 2012.

OTA is a member of several organizations and working groups including who share OTA's vision of enhancing online trust.  Affiliations include the: All Seen Alliance, Anti-Phishing Working Group. Global Cyber Alliance,  London Action Plan, ITU and the International Air Transport Association.