Privacy: Industry Self-Regulation
In an effort to forestall further government regulation, Internet companies were an early proponent of industry self-regulation and continue to encourage non-governmental oversight of online privacy. To that end, non-profit privacy seal programs, such as Truste and BBB Online, have emerged as industry accepted “auditors” of online data collection practices. Web sites voluntarily apply for a “seal” approving their privacy policies, agree to be subject to audit by the seal program and pay a licensing fee. However the seal programs have been strongly criticized in the wake of numerous privacy lawsuits alleging deceptive data collection practices, notwithstanding the appearance of a seal of approval.