Social Media and eCommerce Sites Lead the Way in Security and Privacy According to OTA’s 2012 Online Trust Honor Roll

Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition – – The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) today released the fourth annual Online Trust Honor Roll recognizing website adoption of key technologies to help protect consumer privacy and security. The OTA 2012 Online Trust Honor Roll, determined by a composite analysis of ten security and privacy best practices, honors approximately 30% of top eCommerce sites, 20% of FDIC 100 sites, and 50% of Social Media sites. Offering comparability for market segments, OTA is also introducing the Online Trust Index(TM) (OTI), which calculates an overall security and privacy metric taking into account key efforts for each industry segment.

Social Media and eCommerce sites represent the strongest sectors in terms of supporting privacy and security best practices, and scored average OTIs of 75.6 and 75.1 respectively, based on a normalized score of 1 to 100. Surprisingly, the FDIC 100 received the lowest OTI, 65.5, reflected in part by their broad data sharing practices, occurrences of loss incidents and lower levels of support of key technology standards.

Based on OTA’s review of over 1,200 sites, several companies stand out as leaders, including Twitter, who scored at the top of nearly every criteria and recently embraced the support of Do Not Track (DNT) privacy preferences, demonstrating commitment to self-regulation. Other leading recipients include American Greetings Interactive, Bank of America, Costco, Charles Schwab, eHarmony, PayPal, Publishers Clearing House, Walmart and Zynga.

“OTA’s work to recognize best practices for sites underscores the importance of focusing on security and privacy holistically,” said Craig Spiezle, executive director and president, Online Trust Alliance. “This year’s honor roll recipients have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment toward consumer protection and to enhance the vitality of the internet.”

“We’ve been working on a number of ways to update the security of our service and systems,” said Bob Lord, Twitter security chief. “We’re honored by the recognition the OTA has given us, and support their hard work in this area. We share their holistic approach to security and privacy in pursuit of the best possible user experience.”

“We’re honored and humbled by the recognition from the Online Trust Alliance,” said Nils Puhlmann, Chief Security Officer, Zynga. “Our philosophy is to protect how we work and play, and we consistently focus on maintaining and protecting the trust of our customers. Organizations like the OTA are essential for delivering industry best practices, and we’ll continue to work hand-in-hand with the community to bring new issues to light and solve challenges.”

“Maintaining the trust and integrity needs to be a priority for all online businesses,” said Sal Tripi, Assistant VP, Digital Operations and Compliance, Publishers Clearing House. “We are proud to have qualified for the 2012 Online Trust Honor Roll. Data stewardship and the voluntary adoption of security and privacy best practices is the foundation for a safe, secure and vital ecosystem.”

Highlights of the OTA 2012 Online Trust Honor Roll and Scorecard:

Nearly 30% of the sites earned entry into the Honor Roll for successfully implementing several key best practices including maximizing SSL server security, adopting privacy best practices and email authentication.

Email authentication adoption continues to rise, with more than 68% of top 100 eCommerce sites adopting both SPF and DKIM.

Average SSL scores for all sectors ranged from approximately 68% (Federal Gov’t) to 80% (Social Media).

Worldwide adoption of EV SSL certificates increased 48% over 2011.

66% of OTA members qualified for the Honor Roll, reflecting their commitment to online trust and self-regulation.

Webinar Briefing: OTA will host an online briefing on Tuesday, June 12 at 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. PDT. To attend, register at:

About the OTA Online Trust Honor RollThe Honor Roll includes a composite trust score for key internet segments, including leading banks, eCommerce and Social Media sites. In addition, OTA member companies were scored for their support of the prescribed best practices. The report examined over 1,200 domains, approximately 3,600 web pages and over 500 million emails. The Online Trust Index (OTI) provides an average score for each industry segment normalized to a scale of 1 to 100 to provide the ability for ongoing comparability. All sampling and analysis was completed from April 10 through May 22, 2012. For a full list of criteria visit: .

About The Online Trust Alliance The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) is a member-based non-profit representing the global internet ecosystem – including the public and private sectors. OTA’s mission is to develop and advocate best practices and public policy which mitigate emerging privacy and security threats while enhancing online trust, innovation and the vitality of the digital economy. OTA is committed to protection of critical infrastructure, balanced legislation and data protection through the promotion of best practices, benchmark reporting, and self-regulation. For more information, visit:


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