When Microsoft added the Tracking Protection List (TPL) feature to the Internet Explorer 9 beta TRUSTe made available a beta TPL that has been widely criticized. The problem with the TRUSTe beta TPL is that apparently what they did was just take everyone who had a TRUSTe seal and add them to the list as parties allowed to perform third-party tracking. Many, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, accused TRUSTe of having created an anti-privacy list! Well, TRUSTe has just (April 4th) released its production TPL and they’ve taken a completely different approach.
What TRUSTe has now done is created a set of third-party data collection principles designed to protect privacy on the web. Only those third parties who agree to the principles are on the allow list in TRUSTe’s TPL, and it is currently a very short list. Only 17 web addresses are on the allow side of the list, a far cry from the nearly 4000 that were on the beta list. TRUSTe also appears to be adding web addresses of trackers that are known not to adhere to the third-party data collection principles to the block side of the TPL (there are currently 88). This puts TRUSTe well on the way to creating a list in which the “Good Guys” can track you but others can’t.
Right now it looks like this story hasn’t been picked up by many sources, and so articles about the TRUSTe list are based on their beta TPL and are extremely critical. Don’t necessarily believe what you read.
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