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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:
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Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll

OTA works to track the progress and adoption of best practices, while highlighting early adopters and “North Stars”.  In 2009, OTA launched the Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll, which today is a comprehensive evaluation of a site’s best practices in brand and consumer protection, security, and privacy.  Through a composite weighted scoring including over two dozen data points, sites that achieve a score of 80% or greater are named to the Honor Roll.

Cyber Incident & Breach Readiness Guide

OTA promotes security standards, responsible privacy practices, and related tools to help organizations protect their data and protect users. Our work helps organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sector to better understand the issues and solutions that can enhance their data protection practices and enable them to develop readiness plans in the event they incur a data loss incident.

Email Marketing & Security

OTA recognizes the critical role email plays in commerce and society. OTA continues to drive multi-stakeholder efforts to identify and advance best practices to help bolster the integrity of the email marketing channel. OTA publishes a set of recommendations that include the adoption of standards-based email authentication technologies, benchmark reports, unsubscribe audits, and related best practices to curb email abuse, while enhancing the security, privacy, and integrity of email.

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.

See All Best Practices

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

10 Years of Auditing Online Trust – What’s Changed?
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Building Trust 22 April 2019

10 Years of Auditing Online Trust – What’s Changed?

Last week we released the 10th Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll, which is a comprehensive evaluation of an...

Announcing the Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll Results
Building Trust 16 April 2019

Announcing the Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll Results

Do you know how – or even...

Online Trust Audit Finds Better Email Authentication and Encryption; Worse Privacy Statement Scores
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Reports 16 April 2019

Online Trust Audit Finds Better Email Authentication and Encryption; Worse Privacy Statement Scores

Do you know how – or even if – your favorite retailer, or your bank, or your ISP is...

OTA’s Online Trust Audit Scores Consumer-facing U.S. Government Websites Highest in Security and Privacy; Healthcare Comes in Last
Press Releases 16 April 2019

OTA’s Online Trust Audit Scores Consumer-facing U.S. Government Websites Highest in Security and Privacy; Healthcare Comes in Last

Internet Society’s broadest audit yet sees dramatic increases in overall website security driven by improvements in email authentication and...

Privacy First for Security Companies
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Privacy 15 April 2019

Privacy First for Security Companies

Privacy has become a major issue around the world. Hopeful presidential candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, have proposed privacy...

Phishing: Think like a cybercrook
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In the News 15 December 2018

Phishing: Think like a cybercrook

SC Media
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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