Industry News

Social Media Honored for Security and Privacy Progress in 2012; @facebook. com E-mail Spoils It

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a global non-profit focused on enhancing online trust by developing and advocating best practices against privacy and security threats, released its  2012 Online Trust Roll, a document “recognizing website adoption of key technologies to help protect consumer privacy and security”.

Following “a composite analysis of ten security and privacy best practices,” OTA found that “social media and eCommerce sites represent the strongest sectors”. Online microblogging platform Twitter is singled out as a leader, with top scores for almost all of the 10 evaluation criteria. The statement acknowledges Twitter’s adoption of Do Not Track (DNT) preferences as proof of its “commitment to self-regulation”.

Among the highlights of the OTA report, there is the SSL score which goes up to 80% for  social media, as compared to a mere 68% for the Federal Government’s online presence.

It’s important to not only publish best practices, but also to track adoption. We want to accelerate the adoption of best practices and recognize those companies that are doing the right thing. Hopefully we’ll get others to follow”, said Craig Spiezle, executive director and president of OTA, in a statement for

As news of the social media’s heightened concern for users’ privacy began to sink in, yesterday’s e-mail address rollout kicked users back to reality. The change consisted of replacing the user-provided e-mail address displayed in the profile with a equivalent.  While commentators admit this replacement reduces the quantity of spam that may have flooded users’ regular Inboxes, they also point out that a @facebook spam list can be very easily generated.

Moreover, all messages sent to [name] will be displayed in the users’ account, causing a re-channeling of possible spam flows.  To top it all, Facebook is reproached with not having given users a heads up on the e-mail address change and with having spent too little time weighing the consequences. Fortunately, users can switch back to their old address due to several social media watchers’ immediate response to this event.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.