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Building Trust 1 October 2017

About Us

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.

The Internet Society is a global nonprofit dedicated to ensuring an open, globally connected, trustworthy, and secure Internet for everyone. The Internet Society is the world’s trusted independent source of leadership for Internet policy, technology standards, and future development. Based on its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society works with its members and chapters around the world to promote the continued evolution and growth of the open Internet through dialog among companies, governments, and other organizations around the world.

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Working Groups & Committees

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 recognized by the IRS as a 501c6 trade organization and became a Washington State approved nonprofit 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.

Effective October 2017, the Online Trust Alliance is an initiative within the Internet Society. OTA as a freestanding and independent organization was formally dissolved, with the majority of assets transferring to ISOC.

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