On November 17, 2014, TRUSTe and the FTC announced a proposed consent agreement after TRUSTe allegedly deceived consumers about its recertification program for the company’s privacy practices.
TRUSTe is a corporation which offers several data privacy services to companies, including a variety of assessments and certifications, monitoring tools, and compliance controls. It also offers Certified Privacy Seals which participants can display on websites and mobile applications to certify that participant follows certain privacy requirements. TRUSTe purports to re-certify privacy seals on an annual basis.
According to the FTC, TRUSTe deceived customers by stating that it would annually re-certify participants’ compliance with program requirements, while in reality it did not conduct any annual review.
Based on the agreement with FTC, TRUSTe shall pay a $200,000 civil penalty and shall maintain a high standard of consumer protection in the future: Trustee shall avoid misrepresentations about its certification process and its corporate status.
The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register for public comments through December 17, 2014. Thereafter the FTC will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.
FTC’s and TRUSTe agreement is available at http://www.ftc…
FTC’s complaint against TRUSTe is available at http://www.ftc…
Related press release available here