$200K as Disgorgement by TRUSTe for Deceiving Consumers

By: Jalenn Turre, Marketing, Business & Social Media Strategist

FTC (Fed Trade Commission)

Credit: ftc.gov

The Federal Trade Commission charged TRUSTe, Inc., a major provider of privacy certifications for online businesses; that it deceived consumers about its recertification program for company’s privacy practices, as well as perpetuated its misrepresentation as a non-profit entity.

TRUSTe was ordered to pay $200K USD within 5 days to the US Treasury as disgorgement.

By agreeing to pay a $200K legal settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) means assuming responsibility of wrongdoing. This organization was found conducting deceitful practices to its consumer’s privacy.

A brief description of who they are and what they do is available at their website (http://www.truste.com/about-TRUSTe/);

Powering Trust in the Data Economy

TRUSTe is the leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company and powers trust in the data economy by enabling businesses to safely collect and use customer data across their customer, employee, and vendor channels. Our team of 150+ professionals is dedicated to solving emerging privacy challenges and provides a unique combination of privacy expertise, methodology, and technology.

“TRUSTe promised to hold companies accountable for protecting consumer privacy, but it fell short of that pledge,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement.

It was ordered that “TRUSTe shall maintain and upon request make available to the Federal Trade Commission for inspection and copying, a print or electronic copy of, for a period of five (5) years from the date of preparation or dissemination, whichever is later, all documents, whether in written or electronic form, that relate to compliance with this order, including but not limited to:”

  •  advertisements and promotional materials

  • consumer complaints (whether received directly, indirectly, or through any third party)

  • copies of all subpoenas and other communications with law enforcement entities or personnel

  • any documents, whether prepared by or on behalf of Respondent

Please click on the link to read the complete “Agreement Containing Consent Order”


NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.


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