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Twitter Tops Online Trust 'Honor Roll'

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has named Twitter as the best consumer-facing website for personal information protection.

The non-profit has released the results of its 2016 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll, which recognizes excellence in consumer protection, data security and responsible privacy practices. At the top of the heap is Twitter, followed by HealthCare.gov, Pinterest, the White House (whitehouse.gov), Dropbox, FileYourTaxes, LifeLock, Instagram, 1040.com and the Gap.

“Security and privacy remain the bedrock of consumer trust. As the overall top scorer in OTA’s Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll, Twitter is honored to be recognized for our efforts,” said Twitter trust and information security officer, Michael Coates. “These best practices of our users’ data are critical for the long-term health and future innovation of the Internet. We are committed to build on our collaboration between the public and sectors in driving their adoption.”

Half of the 1,000 analyzed websites qualified for the Honor Roll, a 6% improvement over 2015. The consumer services category scored the highest, with 72% earning an Honor Roll designation. The news and media category scored lowest with 23% making the Honor Roll, although this is a 300% improvement over their score in 2015.

“OTA congratulates all Honor Roll recipients who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in consumer protection,” said Craig Spiezle, executive director of the Online Trust Alliance. “It’s evident that many companies have moved beyond compliance, and are adopting meaningful self-regulation and data-stewardship practices. However, it is imperative that organizations double-down on security and privacy measures in this age of high-profile data breaches in order to maintain consumer trust and confidence.”

About 55% of the top 100 FDIC banking sites made the Honor Roll, up from 46% in 2015. The top scorers were 1) IBERIABANK, 2) First-Citizen’s Bank & Trust Company, 3) USAA Federal Savings, 4) Wells Fargo, 5) State Farm Bank.

"Consumers need confidence that their data is secure and privacy is respected,” said Roxane Divol, senior vice president and general manager, website security, Symantec. “As an Honor Roll recipient, Symantec encourages all sites to embrace these practices including encrypting all their site traffic, helping to enhance the privacy and security as consumers browse, bank and buy online."

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