loses TRUSTe privacy-assurance seal | iLounge News

News loses TRUSTe privacy-assurance seal

TRUSTe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to internet privacy, has ended its relationship with the company operating and other websites due to violations of privacy promises to consumers.

“TRUSTe said Gratis Internet of Washington could no longer display the industry’s broadly recognized seal intended to assure consumers that a website complies with privacy-protection guidelines on any of its internet properties,” reports the Associated Press. “It was the first such revocation in at least two years under the industry’s own regulatory program… TRUSTe said Gratis violated promises involving the protection of children’s information and changed how it managed the private information of its customers without adequately notifying them.”

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Honestly I received my Ipod from this company back in October and I really do not have anything bad to say about them .. they were pretty fast shipping and I have not received any extra junk mail or phone calls etc.  100% Satisfied with them (so far that is).  :)

Posted by Keeganskylar on February 10, 2005 at 3:52 PM (CST)


dont you feel at least a little bit uneasy that a company that has all of your private information is losing the support of TRUSTe?  that means the company did something bad with you information, and never told you about it.

Posted by zip22 on February 10, 2005 at 4:14 PM (CST)



Posted by M Bargo on February 10, 2005 at 4:59 PM (CST)


Potentially did something bad. They might have done it to other people’s information, but not necessarily his. Nonetheless, I would feel a little violated and uneasy.

Posted by dino on February 10, 2005 at 5:43 PM (CST)


Well, i agree with Keeganskylar, I also recieved my ipod, and ipod photo from them, and trough all the free sites i ve made $1845 worth of prodocts and have not recieved one spam email, nor any weird charges on my credit card, only recieves your email and home address, it is the advertisers you sign up for on their site that get the credit card information, and most are credible companies.

I just wonder what Gratis did to lose the TRUSTe seal….

Posted by jfried on February 10, 2005 at 6:15 PM (CST)


Truste is nothing more than a big fat marketing company that sells data to spammers anyway.  Trust is the wrong word for that company.

Posted by stark23x on February 10, 2005 at 7:30 PM (CST)


Gratis partners sent a lot of spam (AOL, BMG, Blockbuster, not to mention the dozens of no name companies)  Essentially,  I had a pristine one-month-old-spam free gmail address.  This is the first time I used this email address to register with a site because looked legit with great offers (AOL, BMG, Blockbuster).  The day after I enrolled in the program, the Spam started, recognizable things like the other offers that I didn’t complete (AOL, BMG, Blockbuster).  A dozen a day at first and then, like Spam does, it grows exponentially from there.

When I asked them to take me off of the Spam list, this is the email that Gratis sent me:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) has been added to our ‘do not send’ list for
advertising. Please allow 10 business days for this to take effect.

This email implicitly states “OK, here’s the deal - we have your email address on this advertising (SPAM) list, now that you have expressed your disinterest in Spam, we will take you off of the Spam list, but its gonna take some time, so don’t bug us again. ” 

This is the one thing I really hate about Gratis.  I had more than one referral / friend say to me or “Thanks for the iPod I didn’t get, old buddy, I did get a lot of Spam though, thanks.” Sure, you could say “well its their own fault for using a primary email address, they should’ve used a Spam email address for this offer.”  Thats admitting that there is a problem and choosing to turn a blind eye to it. “But, but, but….Gratis got me a free ipod! “

Because of their Spam practices, Gratis is not a far cry from some of the seedier sites on the web.  You know those sites that have that floating popup with an animation of flying ballons, blinking Congratulations and falling confetti and streamers and when you try to click the X, the X is actually a link to their site as well?  You know the ones I’m talking about. Well, IMHO, Gratis is not far removed from that crowd.

Posted by calvinkronenberg on February 10, 2005 at 8:55 PM (CST)


yeah, I think they are talking about the spamming issue.  In the article, it said that Gratis agreed to make some changes (IE allow people to not receive spam) but i doubt that worked very effectively.  It doesn’t matter anyway, i have a separate email just for these sign up deal things.  They just approved my order a few days ago, and the order has been sent to vendor =)

Posted by VertigoLimit on February 10, 2005 at 9:01 PM (CST)


i don’t *ahem* ‘trust’ truste anyway.  who the frick cares?!  it’s an obvious PYRAMID scheme.  they’re all in cahoots anyway.

Posted by Exvicious on February 11, 2005 at 2:43 AM (CST)


an obvious “pyramid” scheme where thousands of people have received a free iPod, and G4Tech TV has done a segment on it in the past.  If you do referrals on the site the way you’re supposed to do it (i.e. not fake the referrals), you will get your iPod.

Posted by VertigoLimit on February 11, 2005 at 7:14 AM (CST)


I only had to sign up and try AOL’s Music Download service for 30 days to get my Ipod I think it was worth it as only AOL received my CreditCard Info and also at my home address I have not received any additonal junk mail so who knows what they did to loose the privacy seal.  OH well was a good deal but curious to hear what it is they did wrong.  hmmmmm

Posted by Keeganskylar on February 11, 2005 at 7:50 AM (CST)


Speaking of free ipods, anyone have any news/feedback on the citi online banking free ipod mini promotion that is going on now?

Posted by bwegner on February 11, 2005 at 9:57 AM (CST)


they are getting the TUSTe seal back

Posted by jfried on February 11, 2005 at 12:26 PM (CST)


“Gratis will finalize the required changes, participate in organizational privacy training, and recommit to becoming re-certified under the TRUSTe program. Today, both companies agreed to work together to protect the privacy of customers of,,, and” - yahoo news

Posted by VertigoLimit on February 11, 2005 at 12:32 PM (CST)


Getting spammed shoved down your throat when you sign up for “free iPods” shouldn’t shock anyone…

Posted by FallN on February 12, 2005 at 12:07 AM (CST)


People who enter into pyramid schemes are morons. Scumbags touting recieved goods on forums are shills.

Posted by Sebhelyesfarku on February 13, 2005 at 8:06 AM (CST)



Not sure if you get the point of this article.  You are saying anyone who signs up for “Free iPods” should expect to recieve spam.  The idea behind Truste is that the participating company (In this case, Gratis) has agreed to not share consumer personal information with other vendors (Spammers).  Gratis wants to present itself as a reputable marketing company they should improve their spam policies IMHO.

Posted by calvinkronenberg on February 14, 2005 at 6:32 AM (CST)


I received a free ipod from the Gratis Network. I assumed that the information I gave them would be used for spam lists, etc. Not really a big deal. I only gave them name, address & email address. They don’t have my credit card info. Only the company (Blockbuster) that I completed an offer with has it and it is reputable. Lets get real here. If you sign up to get a free ipod you should expect that you will get spam in return TRUSTe or not.

Posted by Katzen on February 14, 2005 at 8:42 AM (CST)


RE my 8:58 am comment, I just realized that there is a policy note somewhere banning the mention of conga lines and such. I apologize; I would delete the offending comment if I knew how. :-(

Posted by dogstar on February 14, 2005 at 11:33 AM (CST)


Your blog is realy very interesting.

Posted by Gaane on September 17, 2005 at 4:07 AM (CDT)

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