TRUSTe has issued its first Trusted Download whitelist. The criteria to gain â€œTrusted Downloadâ€ status included that the software is required:
to clearly communicate key functionalities, to obtain informed consumer consent prior to download, and provide an easy uninstall with clear instructions, among other requirements.
The Trusted Download program has already developed a receptive marketing plan. The press release (dated yesterday) states that
AOL, CA, CNET Networks, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo! will use the whitelist as a tool to help make business decisions related to advertising, partnering and distributing software products. By providing a whitelist of trusted applications, the program aims to provide attractive market incentives to software publishers to meet the requirements and earn certification.
While â€œa numberâ€ of companies applied for the Trusted Download status, only eight companies have passed their tests so far. The lucky few included two advertising programs. The current Trusted Download whitelist:
- CamFrog Video Chat 3.81 (Camshare LLC)
- Coupon Bar 5.0 (Coupons, Inc.)
- Coupon Printer 3.3 (Coupons, Inc.)
- Crawler Toolbar 4.5.0 (Crawler LLC)
- illumio 1.2.73 (Tacit Software, Inc.)
- MostFun 1.0 (NeoEdge)
- Save/SaveNow 4.0 (WhenU.com; Certified Advertising Software)
- Vomba 184.108.40.206 (Vomba Network, Inc.; Certified Advertising Software)
(Number five on this list, illumio, is a program designed as a type of collaborative search engine. After downloading their software, when you need help or expertise, you send a message to the appropriate group. Real people receive your query and, you hope, respond with the information youâ€™re looking for. illumio can also be used privately for work groups or other collaboration groups.)
Of course, one problem inherent in this system is the underlying issue of compliance. The types of programs TRUSTe is attempting to protect consumers from are the types of programs that are already ignoring industry standards for safe downloads. However, anything that helps to promote informed consent and reduce unsolicited ad- and spyware canâ€™t be a bad thing.
Visit TRUSTe to learn more about the Trusted Download program.