We Don't Spam — We Swear!

from the a-pledge-of-non-spamming? dept

Truste is the organization that made a name for itself by trying to certify certain “safe” e-commerce and privacy practices that would allow a company to post a Truste seal that was supposed to make you feel safe about continuing your transaction. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always worked out that well. In the past, Truste was found to have broken their own privacy rules which has probably contributed to people losing trust in the Truste seal and assuming… er… that it was untrustworthy. Of course, part of that might be the fact that Truste appears somewhat powerless to stop those who fake the seal. And, if the seal is worthless and not trusted, what else does Truste really have? Either way, they’re trying to expand by now creating a special “We Don’t Spam” seal for sites that Truste certifies as being non-spammers. Of course, without anyone trusting the seal, it’s basically worthless.

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Comments on “We Don't Spam — We Swear!”

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1 Comment
Carolyn Hodge /TRUSTe (user link) says:

Just One Effective Tool for Online Trust

First of all, I doubt that cookies in a web counter in 2001 would be enough to diminish the trust acquired through thousands of privacy policy reviews, and tens of thousands of individual privacy complaints resolved.
The issue of spoofing is serious. Unfortunately, the most trusted brands are at the greatest risk of being spoofed, as we’ve seen with the effectiveness and increase in phishing attacks. TRUSTe cannot control determined criminals, any more than the FDIC, a recent phishing target, can. We do expend significant resources, for an organization of our size, to prosecute trademark infringement. And we post violating sites in a blacklist readily accessible from our homepage. This blacklist is also fed to consumer security tools such as the Netscape 8.0 browser and the TrustWatch toolbar.
As for the Email Privacy Program, the benefit to consumers lies in our certification and monitoring processes which are objective and rigorous. As with the web seal, through our self-assessment we have insight into the email reputation and policies of senders that a consumer cannot access. (Nor, arguably, would want to access at that level of detail.) Its a shorthand way of knowing that this company passes muster when it comes to sending email. Beyond that, consumers are smart enough to make thier own decisions about the value and service they receive from a given website.
TRUSTe is just one tool in the arsenal to help consumers and businesses build trust. Law enforcement, regulation, technology, education and market forces all play a role.

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