WeChat, a mobile social communication application for smartphones, announced that its website and mobile apps have been certified by TRUSTe, a leading global Data Privacy Management (DPM) company that provides privacy assessments, certifications, monitoring tools, and compliance controls.
The certification covers WeChat in five different mobile operating systems (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian and Windows Phone).
WeChat has built privacy measures that allow users to control who joins their friends list, views their information and manages how others can find them online. For better security and control, users have the option to activate two-way authentication to initiate a chat, opt in and out of location-based services (LBS) function and to block out undesirable contacts.
According to the TRUSTe Privacy Index 2013, 78 percent of smartphone users will not download an app that they do not trust , indicating the increasing concern of users on smartphone privacy. WeChat added that it takes user privacy and data protection seriously and provides comprehensive privacy features and customizable security levels.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and concerned about what personal information companies are collecting about them and how it is being used,” said Chris Babel, CEO of TRUSTe. “With 78% unwilling to download an app they don’t trust, strong data privacy management practices are essential for any business looking to take advantage of new opportunities on mobile while building trust and protecting their brand.”
“By achieving TRUSTe certification, WeChat is demonstrating to millions of global users a clear commitment to privacy and transparency about how data is collected and used within the app. TRUSTe is the number one global privacy brand so displaying the Certified Privacy Seal within WeChat and its website can help to increase trust and support WeChat’s growth in the wider international markets,” added Babel.
“This is a true milestone for WeChat,” said Poshu Yeung, Vice President of International Business Group at Tencent, the company behind the WeChat app. “WeChat has more than 100 million registered user accounts around the globe and is revolutionizing the way people communicate in their daily lives by providing a completely unique experience. Now with TRUSTe certification, WeChat users can have peace-of-mind knowing their data is well protected when they are keeping in touch with friends, meeting new people and having fun with WeChat.”