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TRUSTe Technology

TRUSTe Technology

TRUSTe's technology site offers a deeper dialog around privacy technology, TRUSTe's evolving product set and opportunities on how to get involved.

TRUSTe Technology Overview

TRUSTe Technology Overview

TRUSTe’s core business is built upon trust, reputation and assurance for data. Data of all types: data that flows from a consumer to a business, from a business back to a consumer and from a business to other businesses.

This data can be collected in many manners, either directly with the user’s conscious permission or passively without the user necessarily knowing that it is being collected. The collected data can be used specifically for the function the user thought, or it could be used for other processes that the user may not be aware. Similarly, this data can be shared with other parties with or without the user's knowledge.

This seems pretty complicated, and in fact it is.

data flow diagram


First and foremost there is an awareness problem with all these data flows. Does the user know what data is being collected, how it is being used and with whom it is being shared? This fundamental principle is called Transparency.

TRUSTe's core business has always been around building technology and services to help businesses provide transparency around their data practices. The services include trustmarks, seal or icons which help users understand where to find this information, which is often contained in a privacy policy. Often times these trustmarks need to be presented on a huge scale, such as supporting the ad ecosystem. TRUSTe’s trustmark serving infrastructure is built to serve 100’s of billions of impressions globally. These already appear in many ad units, but also on the home pages of large global companies such as Adobe, Verizon and Forbes, and are implemented into the Google Marketplace.

TRUSTe also builds the technology for creating privacy policies, through its privacy policy generator (PPG) service. This service provides a flexible, simple intuitive interface to create an accurate privacy policy that can fit all applications and use cases, from mobile formatted short notice for applications to more complex site-based policies. TRUSTe has integrated its web crawler into the PPG to help easy disclosures around tracking and other technological website elements. The PPG provides XML output in addition to HTML.

policy generator
(TRUSTe Privacy Policy Generator and Mobile Privacy Policy)


The second area is around choice. Data privacy is a very contextual concept. What matters to one person doesn’t matter to another. A policy set by one enterprise on its partners can vary widely from that of another enterprise. As such Choice or Control mechanisms are needed to specify preferences by each party to agree on the rules of how they will interact with each other. These preferences can range from opt-in or conditional preference services to opt-out or post-conditional services.

TRUSTe provides preference services that help consumers specify their choices to advertising and data companies. These services include hosted preference services, consumer software for browsers, mobile phones and platforms like Google Marketplace. TRUSTe also provides services that enable enterprises to specify criteria or policies for interacting with 3rd parties. These services can range from unique certification services like TRUSTed Cloud for service providers to tools that help encode a privacy policy at the data assertion level.

ad preference manager
(TRUSTe Ad Interstitial and Preference Manager)


The final area is accountability. Just because a business states they are behaving in a certain way, what is to ensure this is indeed the case? In other words what assurance do parties relying on the stated privacy policies have to trust?

This is the core of TRUSTe’s service stack. It comes down to assessment and monitoring of the entity's behavior as it collects and uses data. Both of these elements involve the characterization of a website, application or service to identify its actual behavior technologically and through feedback from users since ultimately it is their information. Examples of this include:

TRUSTe Intelligence Platform

All of these questions involve the assessment of the privacy reputation of the site or service. TRUSTe’s Intelligence Platform is a collection of mechanisms to collect this data, algorithmically assess probabilities of its on-going assurance and methods to provide reports and analysis of this data for various constituents.

New mechanisms for pushing the privacy boundaries appear all the time and therefore TRUSTe needs to keep its technology platform ahead of the curve to stay current. New business models also continue to appear and to exist on proprietary platforms and mobile devices which introduce new challenges for developing these evolving approaches.

Summary: Transparency, Choice, and Accountability

These three elements help characterize the technology stack that TRUSTe has been building since its conversion in 2008. It's about website assessment tools, data management, large ad-scale trustmark deployment, mobile, cloud and new and evolving business-to-business models.

TRUSTe is the only privacy company focused on all of these areas and is building a unique data assurance platform to service these markets.

Product Labs

TRUSTe Product Labs

TRUSTe believes heavily on the Lean Startup philosophy of build, test and learn. We are working on lots of cool ideas that we will periodically release for early feedback in this section.

Ad Preference Manager 2.0

Updated preference manager UI provides consumers with information and choices regarding behavioral adverstising.
Demo » | Learn » | *NEW* version 3.0 »
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EU Cookie Consent

EU cookie cookie consent alert with granular category-based opt-out choices.
Demo » | Learn »
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Privacy Policy Generator 3.0

Updated policy generator UI for creating attractive, comprehensive, effective policies.
Demo » | Learn »
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Mobile Policy Generator

Updated policy generator UI for creating mobile-specific policies.
Demo » | Learn »
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Layered Policy / Short Notice

New layered policy design with consumer friendly high level short notice privacy summary.
Demo » | Learn »
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Tracker Manager Browser Client

Enhances your browsing experience with site privacy details and tracker blocking controls.
Demo » | Learn »
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Mobile-Optimized Privacy Policy

Graphical mobile policy provides users easily consumable privacy info in a mobile-optimized layout.
Demo » | Learn »
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Mobile Privacy Consumer App

Mobile app for privacy management. Tools for setting tracking preferences for ad providers, and viewing data permissions and data calls made by other apps.
Demo » | Learn »
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Technical Programs

TRUSTe Technical Programs

Interested in participating in the build out of this critical technology infrastructure stack? TRUSTe has several programs geared to involve technology professionals at every level.

1. Technical Advisory Committee

TRUSTe is building a world-class technical advisory committee that can provide visionary product insight and advice to help shape the way TRUSTe builds its privacy services platform. This group is a very select group of individuals who understand the deep intricacies of how privacy can be operationalized and incorporated into the base internet architecture across the diverse, global technology ecosystem.

We will be announcing the first of these individuals soon, but we also encourage those interested in participating to reach out and let us know what you are thinking.

2. Entrepreneur Incubator Program

We know starting businesses is hard. Many of us at TRUSTe have been involved in early stage companies in previous lives and in many ways TRUSTe is still an early stage company inside of a more established brand. We also believe privacy is in its nascent stage and needs fresh ideas to make it work in the proper balance across the ecosystem.

As such, TRUSTe is offering an incubator program for entrepreneurs starting a business that involves data privacy. This program will include cash grants, access to TRUSTe operational, technical and investment resources and the opportunity to spend time in TRUSTe’s San Francisco office to learn and to get exposure.

For more information, check back here as more details will get posted, or send interested proposals.

3. College Recruiting and Internship Programs

TRUSTe has graduates from many of the top engineering and computer science programs including Stanford, Berkeley, Illinois, Carnegie Mellow and UT-Austin. We have a formal internship program that offers critical operational experience for up and coming students.

This fall, TRUSTe had its first successful recruiting campaign at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – a top 5 computer science and engineering program. TRUSTe formalized its first college recruitment program for new grads, and by popular demand, also extended our internship program for the University also.

All details can be found on our careers site where we post specific positions for new grads and interns.