Top 5 Qualities in a Great CPO

By Alexandra Ross, The Privacy Guru (@sharemindfully)

Guest Blog

Whenever a new position emerges at the C-suite level, you can be certain substantial debate about exactly what the role encompasses and which skills are crucial for meeting an organization’s needs will follow. It’s understandable, as a new executive role is often a response to massive new complexities. Just consider how the computing revolution and the knowledge economy gave rise to CTO and CIO roles.

Today, extensions of those sea changes have placed new demands on companies – startups as well as more developed businesses. Mobile tech innovation, e-commerce, and the rapid growth of a globally networked society have elevated privacy into a priority issue. Make a list of high-profile stories over the past year, and you’ll be hard pressed to find one which doesn’t touch on data privacy: Revelations about government surveillance, app developers and social media companies experimenting with feed algorithms and location tracking, major retail security breaches… they all point towards increasing concern over privacy and the way institutions are not always fully prepared for the challenges privacy issues present.

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TRUSTe Appoints Privacy Pro Josh Harris as New Director of Policy

TRUSTe today announced that privacy specialist Josh Harris has joined the team as the new Director of Policy. Josh has an extensive background in the privacy field with experience as a former Department of Commerce staffer and Future of Privacy Forum Policy Director.

Josh will be responsible for driving programs that protect consumer privacy and ensure ethical and responsible data collection practices worldwide. Josh is a known expert and thought leader in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System, a program which ensures safe data transfer that is compliant with global privacy frameworks.

Josh’s insights will be extremely beneficial in expanding the CBPR system and ensuring that we remain at the cutting edge of regulatory and technology developments on behalf of our global client-base. We’re thrilled to have Josh onboard!

For more on this announcement, read the press release and for more information on TRUSTe’s APEC certification program, visit


TRUSTe Launches Data Privacy Management Platform to Help Manage Complex Privacy Initiatives

With the explosion of big data, companies know that successful data collection is crucial to the success of their business.  If collected and analyzed properly, the use of big data can help companies outperform the competition by leveraging new data-driven strategies, uncovering new trends and benefits. However, the use of this data also brings significant privacy challenges relating to consumer trust and regulatory compliance.

In today’s evolving privacy landscape, privacy professionals have struggled to keep pace with changing technology, legal and compliance risk requirements in order to protect their brand. These professionals are tasked with the difficult challenge of staying on top of numerous privacy laws and regulations in multiple locations (such as APEC, COPPA, and the EU Cookie Directive) while at the same time, enabling the proper controls and ongoing monitoring procedures across privacy, IT, legal and business units within the company.

Today, TRUSTe has launched the Data Privacy Management (DPM) Platform, the industry’s first end-to-end data privacy management solution to help enterprises manage complex privacy initiatives. This platform makes it simpler for privacy professionals to manage all their needs in once place by allowing them to assess and manage global privacy risks, implement compliance controls and ensure ongoing monitoring across multiple business teams using a single dashboard.

Key features of the TRUSTe DPM Platform:

  • Integrated Data and Process Audits
  • Assessment Template Library
  • Compliance Reviews
  • Privacy Controls Database
  • Automated Gap Analysis
  • Compliance Reporting
  • Streamlined Workflow Management
  • Centralized Project Archive
  • Enterprise Privacy Dashboard

What’s more, Forrester recently released a TEI study citing 151% ROI for enterprises using TRUSTe – proving the benefits of privacy investment.

For more information on the platform, read the press release or contact TRUSTe sales at 1-888-878-7830 (U.S) or +44 (0) 203 078 6495 (EMEA).


Apple & Box Show Commitment to Cross-Border Data Privacy through APEC Certification

As Apple released the latest update to their privacy policy today, it included the new TRUSTe APEC Privacy Seal certifying that Apple abides by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cross Border Privacy Rules System. Apple joins Box as the latest in a growing list of companies who are choosing APEC Certification to demonstrate their commitment to consumer privacy and ensure they transfer data around the world in a safe way in compliance with global privacy frameworks.

The APEC CBPR System is a self-regulatory initiative that addresses cross border data flows between the United States and other APEC Member Economies through voluntary and enforceable codes of conduct adopted by participating businesses. TRUSTe was approved as the first Accountability Agent for the APEC CBPR System in June 2013.

Currently three APEC Member Economies participate in the CBPR system, the United States, Mexico and Japan, with Canada having formally submitted its notice of intent to participate in the system. As an Accountability Agent, TRUSTe reviews, certifies, monitors and enforces the privacy practices of participating U.S.-based companies or subsidiaries to ensure compliance with the CBPR system.

Congratulations to Apple and Box on their APEC Certification. Find out more about the TRUSTe APEC Privacy program here:


EU Cookie Inspections – Are You Ready?

Webinar Series on EU Cookie Inspections from Chris Babel- Truste

Many companies have been focused on preparing for the EU Cookie Inspections ever since the “Cookie Sweep” day was announced to determine compliance with cookie regulations across the EU on September 15-19 of this year.

Given the recent fines due to violations in Spain and the Netherlands over the last few months, companies have been eager to gain an understanding of their obligations under EU privacy laws so they can avoid similar outcomes.

Last week, TRUSTe hosted the second session of a two-part webinar series titled EU Cookie Inspections: Are You Ready? The session prepared companies for the EU’s upcoming audits and featured the following speakers and topics:

  • Introduction, Chris Babel, TRUSTe CEO
  • Overview of compliance requirements in key European markets, Oliver Proust, Fieldfisher
  • CNIL’s latest guidance and inspection plans, Vincent Toubiana, CNIL
  • What do you need to do to comply? Matt Ferrell, TRUSTe

If you missed the live webinar, check out the recording below:

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TRUSTe To Develop Guidelines For Whitelisting Sites On New Disconnect Mobile App

iOS Mobile App to block malvertising from Disconnect Mobile.Android Mobile App to block malvertising from Disconnect Mobile.

Earlier today, Disconnect launched the first mobile app to block malvertising –and confirmed that the app is available for iOS and Android after an initial ban by Google caused public outcry.

Malvertising is a major cause of identity theft and is impossible for consumers to identify because malicious tracking and malware often looks like a normal advertisement or website.  Many consumers also do not realize that just visiting a webpage containing malvertising, without even clicking anything, can put them at risk.

“Disconnect Mobile offers unique threat protection at the network request level, so that users are protected across all their apps and mobile browsers.” said Disconnect’s CTO Patrick Jackson, a former NSA engineer. Disconnect Mobile works by blocking more than 5,000 tracking services and suspected malware sites from connecting to a user’s device.

A temporary ban on the app by Google earlier this month citing “interference with other services” led to hundreds of media reports and an uproar on social media. Disconnect resubmitted their app to make it clear that they are not an adblocker and are focused on protecting consumer privacy and Disconnect Mobile is again available for install in the Play Store, as well as iTunes.

Although Google has not specifically responded to requests for more information, industry consensus is that Disconnect Mobile was suspended because it was mistaken for an ad blocker. “We are not an ad blocker and we are not at all opposed to advertising,” says Disconnect COO Gus Warren. “But we are 100% opposed to ads that threaten consumer privacy and security. We are committed to un-blocking any companies on our filter lists who we verify respect consumer safety and privacy.”

At TRUSTe we’re delighted to be working with Disconnect to develop transparent guidelines for whitelisting sites on Disconnect Mobile and rewarding businesses with legitimate websites and apps for their commitment to consumer privacy. This collaboration is a follow up to our successful launch in June of Privacy Icons software that helps people quickly understand how websites handle their data.



September Monthly Spotlight

  • September 4

EU Cookie Inspections: Are You Ready?


There has been significant focus on the EU Cookie Directive ever since the announcement of a “Cookie Sweep” to determine compliance levels with cookie regulations across the EU in mid-September.

Since the Directive has been implemented in different ways across the EU, many companies need guidance to gain an understanding of their obligations under European privacy laws. On September 4th, TRUSTe will join experts from the CNIL and Fieldfisher to present an in-depth look at how businesses should plan for these cookie inspections in part II of the webinar series titled EU Cookie Inspections: Are You Ready? Register for this webinar here. 

If you missed part I of the series, EU Cookie Directive: Key Steps to Compliance, view the recording here.

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Why Are Social Media Experiments Considered An Invasion of Privacy?

Social media experiments and privacy – TRUSTe

By Dave Deasy, VP of Marketing, TRUSTe

This article was first published in MediaPost on 8/20/14

Social media is very personal. We all use it differently—which reflects the real world…we all socialize in different ways. But when news broke of social media experiments by popular channels, users were outraged.

But why is our expectation of privacy so high on the very channels where we share the most?

Facebook’s 2012 experiment tested nearly 700,000 users’ emotional responses to their news feeds, to vet a theory on the transferability of mood. Facebook manipulated users’ news feeds to show them content that was either predominately negative or positive, analyzing users’ emotional responses by examining verbiage and frequency in their own status updates. Soon after, OKCupid admitted it had also experimented on users. To test users’ response to its match algorithm, OKCupid falsified its “match” data—pairs who were a low match (30%) were shown as a strong match (90%), and vice versa.

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