The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (“i2Coalition”), the leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers and other foundational Internet technologies, recently announced that its VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) has released the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) Principles. These principles deliver a comprehensive, neutral set of best practices that help VPN (Virtual Private Network) providers boost consumer confidence, improve accountability and increase the adoption and benefits of VPNs.
At their core, the VTI Principles were created in support of VPN awareness, adoption and access, focusing on these five areas: security, privacy, advertising practices, disclosure and transparency and social responsibility. Informed by input from civil society and other outside experts, they help to safeguard the privacy and security of VPN users while offering practical policy guidelines for VPN providers and evaluation criteria for policymakers, regulators and the wider market.
“These principles, leveraging insight from industry leaders themselves as well as outside experts, create much-needed alignment that will develop greater confidence in VPN services and the entities that support and provide them,” states Nick Nelson, Board Member of the VPN Trust Initiative and General Manager of Consumer Privacy and Protection for NetProtect. “VTI members are united by a commitment to collective privacy and security through robust, clear VPN protocols and awareness about VPN benefits. In turn, this will help accomplish a greater goal of shaping how legislators and regulatory bodies treat VPNs, so that these technologies can continue to offer important benefits to users, such as protecting digital privacy and avoiding censorship.”
The VTI, an industry-led and member-driven consortium of VPN business leaders focused on building understanding, strengthening trust and mitigating risk for VPN users and providers, formally launched in December 2019. The group remains dedicated to developing and releasing resources like the VTI Principles in order to serve as a source of vital industry-led stewardship. With an aim to reach consumers, legislators and technologists, the VTI promotes appropriate industry-led guidance, provides accurate information to policymakers, informs the greater technology sphere and collaboratively establishes solutions to pressing VPN challenges.
“Releasing the VTI Principles is an inaugural step in what is an ongoing process of aligning industry voices to advocate, create, vet and validate industry policies and guidelines, and we’re excited to see the benefits for the market grow through their adoption,” comments Christian Dawson, Co-Founder of the i2Coalition. “By creating and distributing resources such as the VTI Principles to the market, we’re helping to establish a beneficial and self-regulated accountability model that not only ensures trust and security, it helps the reputation and use of these important VPN technologies to thrive, driving greater adoption.”
The five founding VTI members include: ExpressVPN; NordVPN; VyprVPN; Surfshark; and NetProtect (whose VPN brands include encrypt.me, WLVPN, SugarSync, IPVanish, StrongVPN, OverPlay, and SaferVPN). Companies that have since joined the VTI include Ivacy VPN, CloudFlare, Mysterium Network, GoldenFrog, Hide.me and WeVPN.
To learn more about the VTI, please click here.
To learn more about the i2Coalition and explore membership, please visit www.i2coalition.com.