Controlscan tarnishes integrity on the use of privacy seals

I have made a few posts about privacy seals on this blog, however their integrity is being tarnished by Controlscan that certified the privacy and security of online retailers and other Web sites but has been accused of misleading consumers about how often it monitored the sites and the steps it took to verify their privacy and security practices. The settlements will bar future misrepresentations. The founder and former Chief Executive Officer has entered into a separate settlement that requires him to give up $102,000 in ill-gotten gains. Read more at the Federal Trade Commission’s web site for US consumers.

Truste Privacy Seals

I have been seeing more and more the use of the Truste privacy seal. Yahoo/Flickr for example refer to this in their privacy statement. They are still collecting PII and using it for research, but they do not sell it. Of course it still doesn’t prevent them from using our PII to create profiles, strip our information of PII and attach these profiles instead. Well we can’t have everything….

The TRUSTe seal means that the company whose Web site we are visiting takes our privacy seriously. They monitor the compliance of member businesses, provide an arena for us to file privacy violation complaints, and make sure these complaints are heard.

I like this. Not perfect, but something that we can all understand. So check out for the Truste seal before sharing your personal information. It’s better than nothing…..

Privacy Seals ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’

A privacy seal is an image that you display on your Web site that is granted by a privacy seal provider. It provides easily verifiable assurance to your customers that you care about their private information.

Take a look at this report from Forrester that does a comparison of different type of privacy seals available. Date of report is September 2006. It also includes privacy seals available concerning the use of children’s information.