Understanding internet users' concerns about their personal data and privacy, InTech today joined companies such as eBay, Yahoo and Apple in gaining the TRUSTe certification, which verifies that companies' privacy policies and procedures protect users' privacy to the maximum level possible.
"It's been two months of hard work to make sure every part of our operations complies with TRUSTe's requirements, which are pretty exhaustive," said Goran Candrlic, InTech's Head of Marketing. "But it's well worth it. Not only do our users need to have absolute confidence when using our site, but we also wholeheartedly support the principles behind protecting personal data and privacy."
Users of InTech's reading platform, intechopen.com, can download free books and articles, or publish their own research using InTech's online system.
"We do our utmost to avoid asking users for personal information unless it's absolutely necessary," added Candrlic. "So users do not need to register or provide personal information in any other way to download our free publications. However, people who order hard copies through our site and authors who publish with us need to know that any personal information they provide is in safe hands."
TRUSTe's requirements are designed on the basis of the US Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Principles, which recommend that users:
are provided with information on how their personal data is collected and used;
are given choices regarding uses of their data;
have access to their personal information so that they can review and correct it;
are protected against unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of their data, and
have redress in case of breaches of compliance.
In addition, and very importantly, when providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers, pages that collect sensitive information such as a credit card number must be encrypted, and sites must be free of malware that may engage in phishing or otherwise be harmful to users.
TRUSTe provides a thorough audit of applicants' policies and procedures, and holders of the TRUSTe seal are required to undergo regular compliance monitoring and update their certificate annually. Users can click on the TRUSTe “Click to Verify” seal in order to verify that the site's seal is valid.
In case of complaints by users, TRUSTe requires that sealholders participate in its Watchdog Dispute Resolution program to make sure the complaints are satisfactorily resolved. Sealholders and their partners engaging in prohibited activities will have their certification rescinded, and TRUSTe will issue public notice of this.
Said Aleksandar Lazinica, CEO at InTech, "The news that our hard work to meet TRUSTe's standards has paid off has brightened up this dreary December morning for us, and we'll be displaying our seal with pride. This is just part of our drive to meet industry standards that are expected of web-based companies, as well as to increase levels of professionalism in all aspects of our work at InTech. But for us, as voracious consumers of internet technologies ourselves, this is an important step along that journey."