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Online Trust Alliance (OTA)

The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA) identifies and promotes security and privacy best practices that build consumer confidence in the Internet. Leading public and private organizations, vendors, researchers, and policymakers contribute to and follow OTA’s guidance to help make online transactions safer and better protect users’ data. OTA Goals:

  • Through independent research and benchmark reporting, educate stakeholders on Internet issues impacting user trust and brand reputation;
  • Drive multistakeholder initiatives to develop and advance best practices to protect users’ security, privacy, and identity;
  • Via working groups and committees,  develop industry leadership and harness the power of collaboration, meaningful self-regulation, and data stewardship;
  • Establish and foster partnerships and collaborative learning opportunities; and
  • Empower users to act in their own privacy and security interests.
Some examples of OTA’s work products include:

Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll

ota_honor_roll_2018

The Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll assesses nearly 1,200 organizations, recognizing excellence in online consumer protection, data security, and responsible privacy practices. This 10th annual audit of more than 1,200 predominantly consumer-facing websites is the largest undertaken by OTA, and was expanded this year to include payment services, video streaming, sports sites, and healthcare.

Cyber Incident & Breach Readiness Guide

This year marks the Online Trust Alliance’s tenth annual publication related to cyber incidents and breach readiness. Now an initiative of the Internet Society, OTA reviews cyber incident and breach events to extract key learnings and provide guidance to help organizations of all sizes around the world raise the bar on trust through enhanced data protection and increased defense against evolving threats. This Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report builds on last year’s expanded recognition of threats beyond just data breaches to include ransomware, business email compromise (BEC), distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and connected device vulnerability.

Email Marketing & Security

The 2018 Audit found that the vast majority of audited online retailers have embraced unsubscribe best practices, going beyond mere compliance, and have shown continued improvement since 2014 despite expanded and more stringent criteria. This year’s Audit examines the entire email engagement process, from signup to receiving email to the unsubscribe user experience and results.

Best Practices

OTA provides best practices, resources, and guidance to help enhance online safety, data security, privacy, and brand protection. To maintain online trust, industry needs to move from a compliance mindset to one of stewardship, while promoting the value exchange consumers receive. Organizations should apply these efforts, following a review of their respective legal, regulatory, and compliance requirements.

OTA Internet of Things (IoT) Initiative & Trust Framework

The IoT Trust Framework® includes a set of strategic principles necessary to help secure IoT devices and their data when shipped and throughout their entire life-cycle. Through a consensus driven multi-stakeholder process, criteria have been identified for connected home, office and wearable technologies including toys, activity trackers and fitness devices.

Visit our IoT Trust Framework page and download the full version or Framework Overview.

OTA News

Announcing the 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit
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Building Trust 8 October 2019

Announcing the 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit

Today, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance released a new report, the “2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign Audit,” analyzing the...

OTA’s Trust Audit Scores U.S. Presidential Candidates’ Campaigns, Finds Major Failures in Privacy Statements
Press Releases 8 October 2019

OTA’s Trust Audit Scores U.S. Presidential Candidates’ Campaigns, Finds Major Failures in Privacy Statements

Reston, VA. – October 8, 2019 – The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA), which identifies and promotes security and privacy...

Celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
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Building Trust 2 October 2019

Celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Every October, we mark National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. From the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, “Held every October,...

Deep Dive: How Do Banks Score on Privacy and Security?
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Building Trust 26 September 2019

Deep Dive: How Do Banks Score on Privacy and Security?

In April 2019 the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance published its 10th annual Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll...

The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance Announces Methodology for Eleventh Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll
Press Releases 25 September 2019

The Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance Announces Methodology for Eleventh Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll

Criteria updated to include increased focus on encryption and global privacy regulations; international retail segments added

Privacy Regulations Are Evolving: Are Organizations Ready?
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Building Trust 20 September 2019

Privacy Regulations Are Evolving: Are Organizations Ready?

Privacy statements are both a point of contact to inform users about their data and a way to show...

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Team

Megan Kruse

Business Director, Online Trust Alliance

Kenneth Olmstead

Internet Privacy & Security Analyst

Jeff Wilbur

Technical Director, Online Trust Alliance