Bell Atlantic Teams with TRUSTe Privacy Program To Create Safe Online Environment

Bell Atlantic Teams with TRUSTe Privacy Program To Create Safe Online Environment

April 5, 2000


Mark Marchand,
(518) 396-1080

Dave Steer,
(408) 342-1943

NEW YORK & Cupertino, CA, - Bell Atlantic will continue its leadership in safeguarding customer privacy in corporate web sites by expanding its relationship with TRUSTe, the leading online privacy seal program.

TRUSTe and Bell Atlantic today announced that Bell Atlantic has upgraded its participation in the TRUSTe program to become a Contributing Sponsor. With the agreement, TRUSTe continues its leadership in guiding companies on responsible uses of fair information practices.

The announcement expands Bell Atlantic's long-term commitment to customer privacy. The company has been at the forefront of self-regulatory efforts to protect privacy online. In 1998, Bell Atlantic became a founding member of the Online Privacy Alliance. That same year, Bell Atlantic began working with TRUSTe to receive third-party approval of the company's online privacy policies, and the company was awarded the TRUSTe seal for 12 web sites in February, 1999.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bell Atlantic will seek TRUSTe re-certification for its existing 12 Web sites, in addition to seeking TRUSTe approvals for 6 new web sites. As part of its support, Bell Atlantic will also work with TRUSTe to encourage other companies them to join an online privacy seal program.

Shelley Harms, Bell Atlantic executive director for public policy, emphasized the importance of building a safe environment online.

"As we create a more networked world, it is critical that consumers develop trust in online commerce," said Harms. "TRUSTe will help us provide consumers with the guideposts they need to protect their privacy online."

Bob Lewin, CEO and Executive Director of TRUSTe, indicated that Bell Atlantic's support will help the organization educate online businesses and consumers about protecting privacy on the Internet.

"We are pleased that Bell Atlantic has decided to support our program," said Lewin. "By joining together with TRUSTe, Bell Atlantic is leading the way in promoting trusting relationships between companies and online consumers."

By prominently displaying the TRUSTe Privacy Seal on its homepage, Bell Atlantic is sending a strong message to its customers that it is adhering to the principles of the TRUSTe program, which include:

  • Disclosure - Notification of what personally identifiable information is collected and with whom it is shared.
  • Choice - Meaningful choice to online consumers of whether that information will be shared with a third party.
  • Access - Reasonable access to profile information to correct inaccuracies.
  • Security - Reasonable security mechanisms to protect data collected.

About Bell Atlantic

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

About TRUSTe

TRUSTe, the leading privacy seal program, is an independent organization dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in the Internet. The TRUSTe network of participating companies includes America Online, Excite, Intel, and Microsoft.

Founded in 1997, TRUSTe is the premier privacy seal program worldwide. The TRUSTe seal is currently displayed on all of the Internet's portal sites, 15 of the top 20 sites and approximately half of the top 100 sites. Nielsen//NetRatings recently rated TRUSTe the most visible symbol on the Internet.

TRUSTe is based in Cupertino, CA, with an office in Washington, DC. To learn more about protecting your privacy online, visit the TRUSTe Web site at www.truste.org.