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Truste debuts privacy certification program for mobile commerce

Truste, provider of the online privacy trustmark, has launched a new privacy program for businesses to certify their mobile applications and mobile Web sites with the Truste Privacy Seal.

Truste’s new certification program defines privacy for mobile Internet usage, giving businesses the ability to reassure customers that they can trust the applications with their personal information. The program is already being adopted in early deployments by,, The Weather Channel, WebMD and Yelp.

“Extending Truste ‘s privacy offerings to the mobile platforms is only logical given industry and consumer mobile trends,” said Chris Babel, CEO of Truste, San Francisco. “Consumers want online privacy protections regardless of whether they’re accessing the Web from their laptop, mobile browser or mobile application.

“Certifying privacy on the mobile platform is critical given mobile devices are unrelenting in their data collection as we keep them in our possession at all times and they collect entirely new and ever expanding classes of personal information such as physical location,” he said.

“These two important factors differentiate mobile devices from traditional computers and present added privacy risks in online mobile environments, which increases the need for third-party privacy certification providers like Truste to accelerate online trust.”

In mobile commerce we Truste
Key new features of the Truste mobile privacy certification program include a layered privacy notice easily accessible through the mobile device and a new micro-seal that is clearly visible and more easily read from even the smallest mobile device screens.

In addition, cross-platform monitoring ensures extra-sensitive location data is handled properly, particularly as it relates to children and safety.

Because of the small form factor, mobile makes privacy—an already complex concept to demonstrate for consumers—even more challenging.

Truste’s new mobile application certification for privacy involves a thorough review of each mobile application or mobile Web site to ensure adherence to privacy standards, as well as looks at regulations, best practices and emerging standards.

The privacy requirements have been reviewed by both the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

It addressed special mobile features that create new privacy implications such as location-based technologies and mobile analytics.

The enhanced program lets businesses guarantee the same privacy standards to consumers for new mobile usages, leading to more conversions on that platform. 

Mobile market explosion fueling need for increased privacy guarantees
According to Gartner, worldwide mobile application stores’ download revenue will grow to $29.5 billion by the end of 2013.

Fueling the growth are emerging mobile applications for bargain shopping, mobile ticketing, online banking and sales of tangible goods.

Yet despite the momentum, some consumers are still hesitant to use their mobile devices for mobile commerce due to a lack of confidence.

According to a survey of more than 4,000 mobile device users conducted by KPMG, more than 87 percent have concerns about privacy and security.

Online marketers promoting new behavioral advertising and location-based services such as GPS that substantially increase data collection possibilities also add to these privacy concerns.

Truste’s mobile privacy certification program, supporting all platforms including Apple, BlackBerry, Android, Palm, Symbian and Windows Mobile, is designed to meet privacy concerns of consumers in the mobile market.

G’day mate
Worldmate is an early adopter of Truste mobile certification and developer of TripCatch, one of the mobile Web’s most popular travel management applications, with more than six million registered users.

“Our customers are on the go, using the Trip Catch mobile application to manage their flights, lodging and itinerary,” said Jean Tripier, CEO of Worldmate.  “There’s a lot of personal, private information exchanged, such as destination times and where they’re staying.

“The Truste trustmark is prominent on our sites because it shows customers we take their privacy seriously, and because we believe they are looking for that assurance.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily