Twitter finished first in the 2016 Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll list of highest scoring websites in terms of consumer protection.

Pinterest and Instagram were the other social networks in the OTA’s top 10:

  1. Twitter
  3. Pinterest
  4. The White House
  5. Dropbox
  6. FileYourTaxes
  7. LifeLock
  8. Instagram
  10. The Gap

Twitter trust and information security officer Michael Coates said in the report: "Security and privacy remain the bedrock of consumer trust. As the overall top scorer in OTA’s Online Trust Audit, Twitter is honored to be recognized for our efforts. These best practices of our users’ data are critical for the long-term health and future innovation of the Internet. We are committed to build on our collaboration between the public and sectors in driving their adoption." 

Security magazine spoke with Craig Speizle, executive director and CEO of the Online Trust Alliance about the list: 

Why is ranked so high when it had so many reported breaches and security issues?

Speizle: has re-engineered their site and have not only adopted the latest security practices such as AOSSL and DNESEC, but equally as important have adopted broad email authentication. They also have top scores for privacy. For example, they honor a Do Not Track browser setting.

What are the websites on this list doing that other web sites are not doing?

Speizle: The objective of the Trust Audit and Honor Roll report is to highlight best practices and recognize leadership among organizations online. Companies that have been absent year after year remain a concern. Specific areas of concern from this year’s findings are inadequate levels of consumer detection from spoofed or forged email (aka email authentication), insecure DNS infrastructure, and poor privacy policies due to a combination of lack of disclosures and excessive sharing of data with third parties. You can see our complete methodology here:

Do you have research on what consumers will do with this information?

Speizle: First and foremost, our goal is to drive adoption of best practices and increase/enhance data and consumer protection online. While the Honor Roll is not an endorsement of a site or service, it is a strong indicator for consumers to consider when shopping, banking or browsing online. We are happy with this year's results.