The US Safe Harbor - Fact or Fiction? (2008)

5.1. False claims regarding membership

206 organisations claim to be members of the Safe Harbor when they are not current members. The oldest false claim dates back to June 2003 (i.e. the last date they were actually a member of the Safe Harbor). More than half (112) of the false claims are over twelve months old.[11] There is a significant risk that EU consumers and businesses will be mislead by these claims.

Unfortunately, membership of a third party privacy program does not necessarily lower the incidence of false claims. 26 organisations certified as TRUSTe EU Safe Harbor members are not actually on the current Safe Harbor list. The oldest of these false claims dates back to September 2005, and 11 of these false claims are more than one year old.

In most jurisdictions an organisation would face serious consequences for making a false claim of this nature, and even a single breach by a single company would result in regulatory action. In the US there is no indication that this issue has been the subject of any action by authorities, despite the hundreds of false claims over a lengthy period.

[11] Galexia has captured and date-stamped screenshots or files for these 206 false claims.