Press Release: i2Coalition Expands VPN Trust Initiative To Drive Greater Industry Accountability and Hold Industry Partners to a High Standard
i2Coalition Expands VPN Trust Initiative To Drive Greater Industry Accountability and Hold Industry Partners to a High Standard
VPN Trust Initiative Seeks to Create Standardized Industry Benchmarks for VPN Providers that Advance Trust and Transparency throughout the Industry for the benefit of VPN users around the world
Washington, D.C., May 25, 2022 – The i2Coalition, the voice for businesses that build the Internet, announced the expansion of the VPN Trust Initiative by releasing principles that aim to establish a framework of industry best practices for all Virtual Private Network (VPN) providers and outline policy guidelines for policymakers, regulators, and consumers to ensure consumers are getting the most out of VPNs.
Much of the world’s day-to-day life takes place on the Internet, home to a growing amount of personal data and private transactions. Consumers, businesses, and organizations seeking greater security and privacy online rely on VPN services to meet these demands—but it is difficult for the average consumer to learn critical details about the companies with whom they entrust their data.
“The Internet is littered with unscrupulous companies offering VPN services that rely on opaque policies that can be downright dangerous for anyone seeking a safe provider to protect their privacy online,” said Christian Dawson, the i2Coalition’s Executive Director. “As the industry’s voice, we take our obligation seriously to hold the industry to a higher standard.”
To stay ahead of challenges, create standardized industry benchmarks for VPN providers, and ensure informed decision-making for policymakers, providers, and users, industry leaders began to work collaboratively to develop a comprehensive set of best practices. As a result, the expanded VPN Trust Principles announced today will educate consumers on VPNs’ privacy and security benefits and establish standard practices for VPNs that foster trust.
“The release of expanded principles from the VPN Trust Initiative marks the beginning of greater industry accountability,” said David Hamilton, Communications Manager for the i2Coalition. “It’s not just about making any one company better—it’s about improving the VPN market as a whole by establishing a comprehensive set of best practices for VPN providers that bolster consumer confidence.”
Developed by a consortium of VPN business leaders with the input of civil society, the Trust Principles will provide comprehensive guidelines for delivering VPN service in the following five areas:
- Security – The user can be assured that their browsing and data goes to sites and applications where they intend it to go. There is no siphoning of data which is possible on a shared network or public Wi-Fi.
- Privacy – There’s a lot that users give up when simply connecting to the Internet, and a VPN ensures the user’s identity and location is not revealed to advertisers, hackers, and others through their IP address, nor are logs of their activity kept.
- Advertising Practices – VPNs will not make false claims about their services, and provide transparency to customers so that they can make informed decisions about their security and privacy.
- Disclosure and Transparency – A user will know if data from them is collected and if so how it will be used, and what other business units and/or third-parties have access to data and why.
- Social Responsibility – VPN providers will promote VPN technology to support access to the global Internet and freedom of expression.
“The Trust Principles ensure that individuals and businesses alike won’t have to spend as much time or effort worrying about the privacy of their online world or the security of their data and personal information,” said Harold Li, Vice President of ExpressVPN and Chair of the VPN Trust Initiative, one of the world’s largest providers of VPN services. “Enhancing trust and transparency and reducing risk for users in the VPN marketplace is not only vital to the survival, growth, and continued success of this technology, it’s critical for enabling an optimized and thriving global Internet framework in a time of greater uncertainty and global conflict.”
The VPN Trust Initiative aims to reach consumers, legislators, and technologists, promoting needed industry-led stewardship, providing accurate information to policymakers, and collaboratively establishing solutions for pressing VPN challenges.
The expanded principles are available in full here: https://i2coalition.com/vti-principles
About the VPN Trust Initiative
The i2Coalition’s VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) is an industry-led consortium that promotes consumer safety and privacy online by increasing understanding of VPNs and strengthening business practices in an industry that already protects millions of Internet users. The VTI leverages first-hand knowledge to advocate, create, vet, and validate guidelines that strengthen trust and transparency and mitigate risk for users. To learn more about the VTI, please click here.
About the i2Coalition
The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (“i2Coalition”) ensures that those who build the infrastructure of the Internet have a voice in public policy. We are a leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers, and related tech. We protect innovation and the continued growth of the Internet’s infrastructure which is essential to the global economy. Our coalition launched at a significant time in our industry’s history. The genesis of the organization began in 2011 when many of the i2Coalition founding and charter members joined forces during the successful effort to prevent SOPA and PIPA from becoming United States law. After mobilizing to ensure the Internet’s free flow of information and commerce, we realized the on-going need for an industry voice, founding formally in 2012. To learn more about the i2Coalition and explore membership, please visit i2Coalition.com.