As part of its licensing commitment, Microsoft has agreed to implement
TRUSTe’s privacy seal program and adhere to its principles of fair information
practices and enforcement.
The agreement significantly boosts TRUSTe’s reach among consumers on the
Internet, bringing the list of licensees to 150, with 15 being among the
top-20 most visited Web sites, the organization said.
TRUSTe said its privacy seal now reaches an impressive 90% of U.S. Internet
users, according to market researcher Relevant Knowledge.
“With the addition of Microsoft, the TRUSTe privacy seal will be seen by
consumers who access the Internet via all of the major consumer gateways,
which include America Online, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, Netscape and Yahoo!,”
said Susan Scott, executive director of TRUSTe. “In a very short period of
time, the industry has demonstrated
significant progress in protecting consumer privacy online.”
Microsoft will join other companies in providing financial support of TRUSTe’s
operations and consumer and industry privacy education efforts. The TRUSTe
initiatives are aimed at educating consumers on how they can protect their
privacy online and
communicating to industry that fair information practices are important to the
growth of online commerce.
Companies can license the TRUSTe seal or “trustmark” by downloading an online
licensing agreement and invoice from the TRUSTe Web site. After the agreement and
licensing fees have been received, TRUSTe works with the applicant to create a
unique privacy statement that describes how the site will use any personal
information the customer may provide. The site will then be given the TRUSTe
trustmark to place on their site. Licensing fees range from $249 to $4,999
depending on the revenue of the applicant’s organization.
TRUSTe says it assures users that sites are indeed doing what they claim
through periodic site reviews and provides consumers with a dispute resolution
Sponsors include America Online; AT&T; CyberCash; Excite; IBM;
Lands’ End; InterNex; MatchLogic; Microsoft; Netcom; Netscape; Oracle; and
Compaq, Tandem Division, Macworld, PCWEEK, Wired Ventures and Yahoo Internet