The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) launched the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) in 2020 to establish a baseline for how virtual private network (VPN) providers should operate. The goal is to help avoid oversights, misunderstandings, or vague legislation that could invite abuses of power and short-sighted legislation of helpful technology.
As a result of collaborative efforts, the VTI Principles serve as a comprehensive set of best practices for VPN providers that bolster consumer confidence and provider accountability, promoting wider VPN adoption and access to the technology’s benefits.
Today VTI is announcing the launch of the VPN Trust Seal accreditation program, which provides a clear public indicator that a participating VPN provider follows established best practices for delivering service in the following five areas:
- Security: VPNs will use the necessary security measures, including strong encryption and authentication protocols, to appropriately address the risks.
- Advertising Practices: Given the complexity and different use cases for VPNs, claims must not mislead.
- Privacy: VPNs should keep as little data as they deem necessary to provide the service and only produce data to law enforcement when legally required.
- Disclosure and Transparency: To foster trust, member companies must take steps toward informing users and the public about their actions and procedures.
- Social Responsibility: VPN providers will promote VPN technology to support access to the global Internet and freedom of expression.
Principles guiding VPN Trust Seal accreditation are informed by input from businesses, legislators, free speech advocates, and other outside experts to protect the privacy and security of VPN users; offer practical policy guidelines for VPN providers; and ensure policymakers, regulators, and the wider market have access to clear criteria for evaluating these technologies.
The inaugural group of VPN providers that have earned accreditation includes Certida, FastVPN, IvacyVPN, NordVPN, PureVPN, Surfshark, Texas.net, IPVanish, StrongVPN, eVenture Ltd, and ExpressVPN.
“Now when VPN customers try to determine which providers align with their ethics, they can look for the VPN Trust Seal and gain some assurances about the commitments behind the products they are looking to purchase,” said Christian Dawson, Co-Founder & Executive Director, i2Coalition.
For more detailed information on each of these principles and how to get the VPN Trust Seal, please visit the VTI website.
About i2Coalition’s VPN Trust Initiative
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 visit vpntrust.net.
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 ongoing need for an industry voice, founding formally in 2012.
To learn more about the i2Coalition and explore membership, please visit i2Coalition.com.