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Online Trust Alliance Issues Draft Online Trust Principles
Call for public and government input

Seattle WA – May 20, 2009 – Today the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) released its 2009 draft Online Trust Principles for public comment.  The Principles are a major step toward establishing business practices that afford greater consumer online protection and the long term vitality of online commence and interactive marketing.  

After a 30-day comment period and subsequent ratification, OTA will work with business and regulatory agencies to drive adoption – focusing on leading ecommerce and banking sites that are stewards of significant amounts of consumer data and, therefore, at risk as frequent targets of online exploits. Those brands which show the highest level of support will be recognized and be eligible for OTA’s annual online safety awards.

“Implementation of these Principles is not only achievable but required to ensure consumer’s peace of mind and protect an our economy from abuse,” said OTA Founder and Chairman Craig Spiezle. “We look forward to our continuing work with the world’s leading brands and organizations to help them realize a new level of trust with their customers.”  

The Online Trust Principles are broken down into three categories:
   1)    Infrastructure, protection of servers, web sites, desktops and mobile devices
   2)    Data, that includes both sensitive and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
   3)    User Control, Choice and Privacy  

Taken together, these Principles will help prevent, detect and remediate threats and business practices that can compromise consumers’ online trust and confidence, including their identity and privacy. The draft Principles may be found at https://otalliance.org/docs/OTA_Draft_Principles_5_20.pdf

"Publishers Clearing House is proud to work with OTA on this critical and timely mission. It is our belief that marketers and brands should be working closely with industry associations in order to develop a comprehensive plan aimed at protecting our consumers and the online community,” said Andy Goldberg, Publishers Clearing House President and CEO. “Consumer trust and confidence in the online ecosystem is a critical component for the success of the Publishers Clearing House online network.”  

OTA’s position is that adherence to these Principles should be mandatory for all companies engaged in ecommerce and online banking.  They are consistent with FTC and European mandates and guidelines that stipulate businesses apply “reasonable security” in protecting sensitive personal information.  These Principles exemplify industry and government collaboration and demonstrate a shared commitment to self-regulation and accountability in order to help provide consumer choice and protection.      

"No business can long survive without the trust of its customers.  Unfortunately for many businesses, protecting that trust often becomes a priority after it has already been damaged", said Ken Bretschneider, CEO, DigiCert, Inc.   "The 2009 Online Trust Principles are an excellent framework for all online business to follow.  In them, the OTA provides a realistic and achievable baseline for protecting both our customers, and the future of online business."

As part of its international charter, OTA will be hosting a Town Hall discussion on the Online Trust Principles in Copenhagen on Thursday June 4th and in Amsterdam on Monday evening June 8th.  Supported in part by European Steering Committee member Secunia, and the Dutch Email Marketing Association, these events will be an opportunity for all parties to participate in this important dialogue. Subsequent town halls are being planned for Singapore and Australia.  Details are posted at https://otalliance.org/events/index.html  

Companies and individuals should submit their comments for the Online Trust Principles on their company letterhead to staff@otalliance.org. Unless requested not to, OTA may at its sole discretion, make all submissions public.    

About The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) https://otalliance.org/
The mission of OTA is to create a trusted global online ecosystem and foster the elimination of email and Internet fraud, abuse and cybercrime; thereby enhancing trust, confidence, and the protection of businesses and consumers. Through its member companies and organization affiliates, OTA represents over one million businesses and 500 million users worldwide with regional chapters in Asia Pacific, Canada and Europe. OTA is a 501c6 IRS-approved non-profit, governed by a Board and Steering Committee including Bank of America, BoxSentry, Datran Media, Epsilon, Goodmail Systems, Iconix, Internet Identity, IronPort (a division of Cisco Systems), MarkMonitor, Message Systems, Microsoft Corporation, MX Logic, Publishers Clearing House, Return Path, Secunia, Symantec Corporation and VeriSign.   

For media-related inquiries, contact:  

 Liz Shambaugh