The Information Trust Exchange has a three-part mission:

  1. PRIVACY — Help public users regained control of their privacy and identity. Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional. When users share information about themselves they need to do it voluntarily and know what they are sharing and who they are sharing it to or with.
  2. PERSONALIZATION — Help quality publishers to improve the relevance and value of advertising in part through deeper knowledge about their users’ collective interests. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial profit and public benefit is critical.
  3. PAYMENT — Create a public-interest internet ecosystem where an individual “fast pass” to trustworthy information — by subscription or by click — is possible without a required dependence upon one commercial platform.
Journalism worldwide is under financial pressure as the advertising which supported it migrates from print to digital and, on digital, to mobile and web platforms managed primarily by Facebook and Google.  Publishers are looking for ways to re-assert a close, “first-party” relationship with users/viewers/readers and to help users manage their “personas” — their digital identity.   The ITE seeks to define a shared-user network for trust, identity, privacy and information commerce.
Our first two efforts:
    • Help publishers understand the impact of user-data leakage and the opportunity to encourage users to install tracking protection.
    • Deploy a proof-of-concept  for a first-party-user-data exchange that would be privacy-by-design.

Long term, we want the ITE network to support single sign-on, sharing of value (payments for content, advertising, etc.) and site access control through sharing of user permissions and attributes.  And we intend that the network’s rules and protocols (probably open source), will be owned and governed by a non-profit, non-governmental organization.

The ITE project has been incubated by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. An independent non-profit, member association, the Information Trust Exchange Governing Association, is in formation.