The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (“i2Coalition”) recently announced the launch of the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI), an industry-led and member-driven consortium of VPN (Virtual Private Network) business leaders focused on improving digital safety for consumers by building understanding, strengthening trust and mitigating risk for VPN users. The collaborative initiative — with founding members including ExpressVPN; NordVPN; VyprVPN; Surfshark; and NetProtect (whose VPN brands include encrypt.me, WLVPN, SugarSync, IPVanish, StrongVPN, OverPlay, and SaferVPN) — will drive further awareness of and trust in VPNs.
End-to-end encryption provided by VPNs shields users’ online activities from unauthorized access, providing anonymity by masking their IP addresses and protecting them from geographic restrictions and censorship. As a result of these benefits, experts estimate that 30 percent of Internet users have utilized a VPN or proxy server in the past month. Collectively, VPN industry revenue is expected to grow from $34.6 billion in 2018 to $50 billion by 2024.
Even though the technology underpinning VPNs is reliable and mature, there are other factors in the implementation of VPNs ranging from user data storage to business practices that may put users at risk.
To provide the most benefits to consumers, it’s vital that VPNs follow best practices that increase customer safety and privacy. Furthermore, the reputation of the VPN industry as a whole relies on the creation and adoption of technical and ethical standards.
To guide this process, the VTI gathers VPN leaders to discuss, create, and validate policies and guidelines that deepen trust in the VPN marketplace.
The VTI is about keeping the industry responsible and accountable to consumers through self-regulation, and providing education to legislators and technologists around VPN technology to improve privacy, security and access.
“Connecting to a Virtual Private Network helps ensure your activity isn’t being intercepted, especially when you’re using a shared Internet connection. VPNs are a foundational technology for a safer Internet, so it’s important that VPN providers adhere to best practices. However, it’s also important that new legislation doesn’t inadvertently limit the effectiveness of VPNs,” says Christian Dawson, Co-Founder of the i2Coalition. “This initiative offers a vital and unique opportunity for the industry to come together as a collective and spearhead real awareness, education and progress. In doing so, we not only position our members as stewards of the Internet with active and dedicated interest in the global Internet’s safety and efficacy, we also deliver highly valuable, beneficial and transformational action as digital security concerns grow and the technological world evolves.”
The i2Coalition serves as the leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers and related tech. By introducing the VTI, the i2Coalition fosters cooperation in the industry and leverages collective first-hand knowledge and insights to advocate for beneficial VPN technical standards and business best practices.
To learn more about the VTI or to join as a member, please click here.
To learn more about the i2Coalition, please visit www.i2coalition.com.