Privacy White Lists - Don't be Fooled (2009)

2.4. USA – Privo

Privo's Privacy Assurance Program is a specific privacy seal with particular focus on children’s privacy requirements. Privo has 9 members.[8] A white list is not published, although there is a page of company logos for sites accompanied by the following text:

Click on any of the logos below to check out our newest PrivoLock–enabled websites or Privo certified sites!

Privo was approved as a trustmark scheme for compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPR) in 2004. Privo highlights this FTC approval on their front page and numerous other pages of their website:

Privo is the first and only infomediary service to be recognized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As an FTC designated Safe Harbor, it is our responsibility to ensure compliance with current federal and proposed state privacy laws. Privo is an FTC-approved, neutral third-party service provider.

Does the FTC approval mean that consumers can rely on sites that claim to be Privo members, or rely on the list of approved sites on the Privo website? Privo only has nine members and even with this small number there is minimal compliance and poor quality control.

The Galexia study made the following findings:



Non-Compliance %

No working seal

A working seal does not appear on the organisation’s web site


Membership has expired

The membership is not current


Privacy policy not available

The organisation’s privacy policy is not available


Overall non-compliance

Cumulative total



In addition, Privo does not publish any information at all regarding their standards for approving a website, and they provide no information (or even contact details) regarding reporting breaches and dispute resolution.

Privo Strengths

  • A deep verification link is provided wherever the seal appears (although some links were broken or contained basic errors).

Privo Weaknesses

  • No privacy standards are published;
  • The white list is a series of company logos rather than organisation names or URLs; and
  • Privo overstates the significance of their FTC approval considering the lack of information on concerning privacy standards and dispute resolution on their website.

[8] <>