Trust Seal Certification Criteria

VeraSafe Trust Seal Program Certification Criteria

1. Introduction.

  • 1.1. The VeraSafe Trust Seal Program is comprised of services that help Participants ensure their compliance with these Program Criteria. The Program Criteria are based on industry best practices, consumer protection legislation such as the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, the UK Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Rules and guides established by the FTC, such as the Prompt Delivery Rule, the FTC Policy Statement on Unfairness, and FTC Fair Information Practice Principles.
  • 1.2. For a Participant to become certified in the Program it must at least meet these minimum Program Criteria, pass the verification process as described in these Program Criteria and certify its compliance with these Program Criteria.
  • 1.3. VeraSafe will issue its Trust Seals to Participants of the Program that successfully pass the verification process, certify their compliance with these Program Criteria and are in good standing in the Program. Any Third-Party that believes that a Participant has failed to abide by these Program Criteria can send a complaint to VeraSafe per the terms of the applicable VeraSafe dispute resolution process.

2. Definitions.

  • 2.1. The following definitions apply to these Program Criteria:(a) “Data Subject” The natural person described by the Personal Identifying Information.

    (b) “Deceptive Advertisement” Advertisement that contains a statement, or omits information, that is likely to mislead an End-User acting reasonably under the circumstances and is material or important to an End-user’s decision to buy or use the advertised product or service.

    (c) “End-User” Any consumer or a natural person that is the data subject of PII collected by the Participant.

    (d) “Handling Time” The time between the moment that an End-User purchases a product from the Participant to the moment that the product is tendered to a common carrier by the Participant for delivery to the intended recipient or delivered directly to the End-User by the Participant.

    (e) “IT System” Any equipment, or interconnected system(s) or subsystem(s) of equipment, that is used in the automatic acquisition, storage, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, or reception of data or information.

    (f) “Malware” Any software used to disrupt IT System operations, gather information or gain access to an IT System without due authorization.

    (g) “Participant” A natural person, business or other legal entity that has entered into an agreement with VeraSafe to participate in the Program and certify its compliance with these Program Criteria.

    (h) “Participant’s Website(s) (Website)” The website(s) that have been submitted by the Participant to VeraSafe for verification and are listed in the program amendment(s).

    (i) “Personal Identifying Information (PII)” Any information or combination of information that can be used to identify or locate a specific individual person. This includes names, contact information, Social Security numbers, email addresses and other individually identifiable information.

    (j) “Program” The VeraSafe Trust Seal Program.

    (k) “Program Criteria” These VeraSafe Trust Seal Program Certification Criteria.

    (l) “Prohibited Territory” Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and/or Syria.

    (m) “Pyramid Scheme” Any plan or operation by which an End-User pays (either by cash or by means of purchasing goods) for the opportunity to receive compensation which is derived primarily from any End-User’s introduction of other persons into participation in the plan or operation rather than from the sale of goods, services or intangible property by the End-User or other persons introduced into the plan or operation.

    (n) “Seal” The VeraSafe trust seal(s) in their digital form, as shown in the VeraSafe user control panel.

    (o) “Sensitive Information” Social Security numbers, Personal Identifying Information that relates to race, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, or concerns health, or sexual orientation, or convictions, proceedings and criminal acts, any information received from a Third-Party where the Third-Party treats and explicitly identifies it as sensitive as well as any information that, if used improperly could cause financial harm to the Data Subject, such as a financial account number or payment card number.

    (p) “Third-Party” Any individual, business or entity that is not Participant or VeraSafe.

3. Minimum Criteria To Achieve the VeraSafe Website Trust Seal Program Certification.

  • 3.1. Neutrality. Participant must not have a direct or indirect business affiliation with VeraSafe or with any employee of VeraSafe that would prejudice the ability of VeraSafe to render a fair decision with respect to the certification of the Participant. Such affiliations include but are not limited to the Participant and VeraSafe being under common control such that the Participant can exert undue influence in VeraSafe.
  • 3.2. Eligibility Rules.(a) Participant must provide and maintain accurate, functional contact information on file with VeraSafe.

    (b) Participant’s Website must not be a platform to offend, threaten, or insult any person or group on account of that person or group’s race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.

    (c) Participant must not refuse to engage in business with an End-User, where the refusal is on account of that End-User’s race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status.

    (d) Participant must not operate a Pyramid Scheme.

    (e) Participant must not deliver, distribute, or dispense, or offer or attempt to deliver, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance without due authorization from the relevant government agency(s) of its locality and jurisdiction and/or without a valid prescription.

    (f) In VeraSafe’s sole determination, Participant’s Website must not be vulgar, immoral, profane, pornographic, or objectively offensive.

  • 3.3. Licensing and Bonding.(a) If Participant operates in an industry that requires licensing, bonding or registration in order to lawfully conduct business, Participant must comply with those requirements.
  • 3.4. Customer Service Practices.(a) Participant must respond to customer service inquiries it receives from End-Users within 14 days of receipt.

    (b) If Participant advertises “satisfaction guaranteed”, “money-back guarantee,” or similar policy(s) Participant must be willing to give full refunds for any reason unless exceptions are clearly and conspicuously posted. Participant must also clearly and conspicuously display the terms of such offer, which must not be relegated to “Terms of Use” or similar legally formalistic documents.

    (c) Participant must not engage in verbal, written and/or physical intimidation including threats to any person or to their property.

  • 3.5. Advertising Practices.
    • (a) Participant’s advertisements must be truthful and, when appropriate, be substantiated by scientific or other evidence.
    • (b) Participant must not make any Deceptive Advertisement(s).
    • (c) Participant must not make advertisements that are likely to be mistaken for bills, invoices, or notices from public utilities or governmental agencies.
    • (d) If Participant advertises an estimated Handling Period for a product, Participant must have a reasonable basis to believe that it can ship the product to the intended recipient within the Handling Period. If Participant doesn’t clearly and conspicuously advertise an estimated Handling Period for a product, Participant must have a reasonable basis for believing that the Handling Period for the product will be 30 days or less.
    • (e) Participant’s advertisements cannot cause or be likely to cause substantial injury to an End-User that the End-User could not reasonably avoid and that is not outweighed by the aggregate benefit to End-Users;
    • (f) Testimonials used by the Participant to advertise its products or services:(1) must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the endorser;

      (2) must not make any representation that would be deceptive if made directly by the Participant;

      (3) must not be presented out of context or reworded so as to distort in any way the endorser’s opinion or experience with the product or service; and

      (4) must not contain false or unsubstantiated statements, or fail to disclose material connections between Participant and its endorser(s).

      (5) And if testimonials used by the Participant to advertise its products or services represent that the endorser used or uses the endorsed product or service, the endorser must have been a bona fide user of the product or service at the time the testimonial was given; and

      (6) Participant may continue to advertise the testimonial only so long as it has good reason to believe that the endorser remains a bona fide user of the product or service.

    • (g) For a Participant to advertise or label product(s) as “Made in the U.S.A.” or make a claim to similar effect, such product(s) must be all or virtually all manufactured in the United States of America.
    • (h) Participant must not habitually refuse to accept orders for advertised product(s) or service(s) with the intention of promoting different product(s) or service(s);
    • (i) If Participant offers a product or service as “free”, “buy one get one free”, ” 2 for 1″ or makes offers of a similar nature:(1) all qualifications and conditions must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed; and

      (2) in the case of “buy one get one free”, “2 for 1”, or similar offers, the product or service required to be purchased must not have been increased in price or decreased in quality or quantity.

  • 3.6. Fundamental Security Practices.
    • (a) If Participant transmits or receives Sensitive Information via the Internet, Participant must use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or other encryption method, so that the information is protected in transit.(1) If Participant collects Sensitive Information via a webpage on a Website, SSL or other encryption method must be enabled on that webpage by default.
    • (b) Participant must not disseminate Malware and must take reasonable precautions to protect its Websites and IT Systems from Malware infection.
    • (c) Participant is encouraged to review the program criteria for the VeraSafe Website Privacy Program and VeraSafe Website Security Program as well as free resources available from the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (http://business.ftc.gov/privacy-and-security) to learn more about web security and privacy best practices.
  • 3.7. International Trade.
    • (a) Participant must not be located in or have a physical presence in a Prohibited Territory or be listed on any U.S. government denied-party list; and
    • (b) Participant must not conduct business with any individual, business or entity located in a Prohibited Territory or listed on any U.S. government denied-party list.

4. Verification Process.

  • 4.1. The Verification Process for this Program relies on a mixture of compliance reviews conducted by VeraSafe and Participant’s self-assessments and attestations pursuant to Participant’s representation that all statements and information it provides to VeraSafe are complete and accurate.
  • 4.2. To pass the Verification Process, the compliance review and Participant self-assessments and attestations must unanimously indicate that the Participant meets or exceeds these Program Criteria.
  • 4.3. Upon completion of the review, VeraSafe will, in it’s discretion, either:
    • (a) Find that the Participant meets or exceeds these Program Criteria and grant Participant the opportunity to self-certify it’s adherence to these Program Criteria and then approve Participant’s certification in this Program; or
    • (b) Notify Participant that a material deficiency(s) has been identified during the Verification Process and when possible, provide Participant an opportunity to remedy the deficiency(s).

5. Accountability & Enforcement.

  • 5.1. Self-Assessment & Follow-Up.
    • (a) Participant must regularly review its compliance with these Program Criteria and take corrective measures in the event that any non-compliance or non-adherence is found.
  • 5.2. End-User Complaints.
    • (a) Participant must cooperate with VeraSafe’s efforts to investigate complaints that are determined to be valid and within the scope of these Program Criteria.
  • 5.3. Re-Verification.
    • (a) Participant shall complete the Verification Process at least annually to verify ongoing compliance with these Program Criteria.
    • (b) Re-verification can be initiated by VeraSafe at any time, at least once per year, and may be initiated by VeraSafe at the request of government agencies, independent watchdog groups, the general public, based on media reports, other complaints, or at VeraSafe’s discretion. VeraSafe will strive to perform re-verifications at intervals appropriate to the Participant’s compliance risk level.
    • (c) Participant’s material violation of the Program Criteria will result in Program Suspension.
  • 5.4. Suspension & Termination.
    • (a) In the event VeraSafe reasonably believes that Participant has violated these Program Criteria or it’s Master Service Agreement in a material way, Participant’s good standing in the Program shall be suspended (“Program Suspension”).(1) VeraSafe shall provide Participant with a description of the violation(s) and any remedial actions that VeraSafe will require Participant to take during the Program Suspension period (“Program Suspension Obligations”).

      (2) Participant will be considered to be in Program Suspension immediately upon receiving notice from VeraSafe.

  • 5.5. Program Suspension Obligations.
    • (a) Program Suspension Obligations may include, but are not limited to:(1) compliance with additional program terms;

      (2) cooperation with additional compliance monitoring by VeraSafe; and

      (3) payment to VeraSafe as compensation for VeraSafe’s additional compliance monitoring.

    • (b) Participant must comply with all Program Suspension Obligations within 45 days of receiving the suspension notice, unless a longer duration is mutually agreed upon.
    • (c) During the Program Suspension period, Participant’s suspended status may be indicated via its VeraSafe Instant Verification Page and VeraSafe may require Participant to cease using VeraSafe Seals.
  • 5.6. Exiting Program Suspension.
    • (a) Program Suspension shall last until such time as the Participant has corrected the material violation(s) to VeraSafe’s satisfaction.
    • (b) If the Participant has not rectified the material violation(s) by the end of the 45 day Program Suspension period, VeraSafe will, in its discretion, either:(1) extend the Program Suspension period; or

      (2) determine that Participant has failed to comply with the Program Suspension Obligations and apply one or more Enforcement Actions against the Participant.

  • 5.7. Enforcement Actions.
    • (a) VeraSafe may terminate the Participant’s participation in the Program and revoke its certification status (“Termination”).(1) Participants that are Terminated will no longer be entitled to use, reproduce or display any of the VeraSafe Seals and must immediately stop all use of any VeraSafe Seal.

      (2) Participant shall be considered to be Terminated immediately upon receiving notice from VeraSafe.

    • (b) VeraSafe may notify the relevant consumer protection authority in the Participant’s jurisdiction (such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission) in cases where the Terminated Participant’s material violations are, in VeraSafe’s judgment, repeated, willful or negligent.
    • (c) VeraSafe may publish press releases notifying the media and the public about the Terminated Participant’s material violation(s) in cases where material violations are, in VeraSafe’s judgment, willful, negligent or constitute an ongoing risk to the general public.

Our Trust Seal program helps you become compliant with consumer protection laws that apply to your business.