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Online Trust Principles & Business Practices

Online Trust Principles & GuidelinesUpdated Dec 14, 2009 (PDF)
Updated to include Core Requirements and Recommended Practices

See Submission to the FTC calling for standardized privacy & data collection statements and use of integrated browser controls (Dec 21, 2009)

OTA Pushes For Protection of Consumer Choice and Privacy -  October 6, 2009 Press Release  (PDF)

Worldwide Support

Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) TrustSphere (Singapore) CypraMedia (Canada)
DigiCert Direct Marketing Association of Singapore Direct Marketing Association
EMMA-NL (Netherlands) Email Service & Provider Coalition ExactTarget
LashBack LLC Internet Identity MarkMonitor
Message Systems Microsoft Publishers Clearing House
Reputy (Netherlands) ReturnPath Secunia (Denmark)
Symantec TRUSTe US Chamber of Commerce

"We are pleased that our colleagues at the Online Trust Alliance are bringing actionable messages and Principles to e-commerce brand holders on the Internet." said David Jevans, Chairman of the APWG. "Building trust and truly secure ecommerce relations is increasingly important."

"A trustworthy communication environment reduces friction in commerce and contact throughout the world. Establishing a widely accepted statement of trust-related principles and best-practices is a vital step in advancing this vision. Facilitating straightforward authentication of communication parties is of great importance as current anti-abuse mechanisms are increasingly disrupting the very communication that they are intended to protect. BoxSentry congratulates OTA on reaching this important milestone", Manish Goel, CEO BoxSentry Pte Ltd.

"The Online Trust Principles demonstrate the progress that is possible if electronic commerce and banking sites regulate themselves and maintain an ongoing focus on advancing consumer protection. Cypra Media fully supports and applauds the principles as a positive step toward more secure online business transactions.", Cypra Media, Andrew O'Halloran, Chief Privacy Officer.

"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 Online Trust Principles are an excellent framework for all online businesses to follow.  In them, the OTA provides a realistic and achievable baseline for protecting both our customers, and the future of online business."

"The DMA is delighted to see OTA unveil a set of strong guidelines that are designed to protect consumers and businesses from deceptive business practices, data abuse, and cybercrime.  Adoption of principles, such as OTAs, will help protect the long term vitality of interactive marketing and enhance consumer trust.  We look forward to working with OTA on these principles and other best practices", Linda A. Woolley, Esq. Executive Vice President Government Affairs, Direct Marketing Association.

"Creating and protecting consumer trust is at the heart of direct marketing best practices, it is the key to differentiating and winning in the marketplace.  The Direct Marketing Association of Singapore requires all members to adhere to the ethical standards in our Code of Practice.  We are in full support of OTA's Online Trust Principles and are currently taking the steps necessary to make them part of our Code," says Lisa Watson, Chairman of Direct Marketing Association of Singapore.

"Creating an online environment that a consumer can trust is critical for companies hoping to have success in the digital marketplace. As early supporters of email authentication and data encryption technologies, the ESPC understands the vital role businesses take in helping to build a sense of trust with consumers.  We applaud OTA's Principles as a useful guide to help companies build a better Internet experience for their customers and look forward to working with OTA on similar initiatives in the future," said Jim Campbell, Managing Director of the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC).

"The Online Trust Principles, especially those surrounding user choice, control and privacy are all critical to the preservation of the online and email channels. Ultimately these guidelines benefit marketers as much as consumers," Chip House, VP, Industry & Relationship Markets Exact Target.

"EMMA-nl is the E-mail marketing Association in the Netherlands, servicing local members with global reach. Our vision is to create transparency in the whole online chain. From customer expectations, optimized e-mail deliverability and genuine communication. In order to create such, the global online industry needs to have standards for secure online trust. All relationships with starts with trust, business comes next! That's why EMMA-nl supports OTA with this initiative, said Marc Borgers, Chairman EMMA-nl." 

"Building consumer trust is more complex and collaborative than ever.  The Online Trust Alliance Principles provides businesses with clear and specific guidance to grow and protect their reputations with each other and consumers, stated Brandon Phillips, CEO of LashBack, LLC.

"The OTA Principles are an excellent framework for businesses that want to do their part in making online interactions with their customers, partners and vendors safe and trustworthy.  In our experience, those companies that follow these best practices to fight fraud and abuse see those problems reduced, allowing them to build stronger, more stable relationships with their customers." Rod Rasmussen, President and CTO, Internet Identity.

"In an Internet world marked by diminished trust due to fraud and other abuse, kudos to the Online Trust Alliance for their recently published Trust Principles that offer practical advice to protect consumers and preserve trust for all Internet endeavors.",  Frederick Felman, chief marketing officer, MarkMonitor, Inc.

"Message Systems fully endorses the mission of the Online Trust Alliance and its efforts to ensure continued consumer confidence and trust with issuance of the Online Principles.  With exponential growth in online communication and commerce, the most successful brands will be those that consistently respect the preferences and privacy of consumers, champion their protection, and demonstrate good stewardship of the sensitive data entrusted to them.  OTA is leading the industry and we are pleased to lend our support," Dave Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, Message Systems.

"The Principles afford benefits not only for consumers but also for those businesses that support them, said John Scarrow, General Manager, Safety Services, Microsoft Corporation.  As a founding member of OTA, Microsoft supports these Principles and looks forward to working with OTA and the Internet community to adopt these and other practices, with the ultimate goal of providing consumers with added protection and control of their data and online privacy."

"Advancing these Principles is imperative in order to enhance consumer's peace of mind and the long-term prosperity of the Internet," said OTA Founder and Chairman Craig Spiezle.  "We look forward to global input to help consumers worldwide realize a renewed level of trust with brands who are committed to consumer choice and online safety."

"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."

"Businesses have much to gain from building consumer trust and choice.  Reputy Europe stands behind the draft OTA Online Trust Principles which empower consumers and reinforce the value of online advertising and email marketing, said Sander van der Blonk, Reputy Europe CEO.  "Businesses need to adopt these measures and commit to online safety. Those that do will realize a competitive advantage."

"Return Path applauds OTA in its work to establish principles of online trust that guide, enable and support industry to implement.  The Internet has fundamentally changed the way people live, work and play.  But consumer enthusiasm can be easily tempered if fear and distrust are allowed to flourish.  Maintaining an Internet that is safe, secure and reliable is in the interest of everyone working in business today", Tom Bartel  Chief Privacy and Compliance Officer, Return Path.

"For years, businesses have been trying to protect customers from online exploitation with poorly coordinated and less than effective measures. Secunia contributes to, and fully supports OTA's Principles as they're an important framework for joint industry efforts against cybercrime, said Secunia founder and CEO, Niels Henrik Rasmussen. "Integrating these principles are essential factors for any online brand, ecommerce company or financial institution."

"The Online Trust Alliance's Principles focus on creating a safe online ecosystem. Symantec has been proud to contribute to this effort and drive confidence in our connected world," Pablo Stern, Sr. Director, Security Group, Symantec.

"The promise of the internet is achieved when consumer privacy and expectations are inline with business practices", Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe. "Online Principles is a significant step to increasing accountability while giving consumers confidence that abuse of their data and identity is thwarted.  As stewards of consumer data, businesses maximize their online brand value and deepen customer relationships by building trust."

"The Chamber believes these principles strike the right balance between consumer;s privacy expectations without unduly hindering the benefits of e-commerce", Christian Merida, Director Congressional and Public Affairs, US Chamber of Commerce .

"VeriSign is a proponent of OTA's recommendations to help educate and protect the identity of e-consumers," said Tim Callan, vice president of product marketing at VeriSign.  "Due to the ever-increasing threat landscape and advanced phishing attempts occurring today, it is paramount that businesses deploy security solutions like EV SSL certificates to ensure the integrity of their customers' assets".

Updated:  February 4, 2011