Over a year ago, we created the Google Apps Marketplace to help you easily discover, evaluate, and deploy integrated web applications for your business or school. In that time, many of you have told us that evaluating apps can be particularly tricky, as you need to consider questions like:
- who already uses the app, and why do they like it (or not)?
- will the app’s features address my particular needs?
- can I trust the vendor who created the app with my data?
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to answer these questions. For example, we offer verified app reviews to highlight comments from customers who we know to be using the app.
Today we’re announcing a feature designed to help address the trust question — a TRUSTe administered data privacy certification program for Marketplace apps. TRUSTe has created a certification program for installable Marketplace apps to verify that they clearly communicate their data handling and privacy practices. This program, which is optional for vendors, displays a green TRUSTe logo on a certified app’s Marketplace listing page as well as search results pages. The logo links then to a certification summary with more specific information about the app.
TRUSTe certification makes it easier for you, as a buyer, to verify the following about an app:
- the vendor has been contacted and certified by TRUSTe personnel
- the purpose for data collection and sharing, and the security used for sharing (https)
Since certification is optional, the absence of a TRUSTe seal does not imply the app has unacceptable or difficult-to-understand practices for data handling and privacy. In fact, the program just launched today, so most apps have not yet applied for certification.
If you have additional questions about what this particular certification covers, please see the TRUSTe customer FAQ. If you’re a vendor with installable Marketplace apps and are interested in certification, please review the application process.