Representatives of those five websites didn't respond to requests for comment on the ratings. Websites that dispute the Privacy Icons ratings can contact Disconnect to explain their concerns.
Privacy Icons evolved from a Mozilla-led working group, in which TRUSTe and Disconnect participated, starting in 2010. Other participants in the Mozilla privacy workshops included the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology and the World Wide Web Consortium.
Evan Greer, campaign manager for Fight for the Future, the advocacy group behind the antisurveillance Reset the Net campaign, praised the new software.
"The single most important thing we need right now in the fight to defend our online privacy is simple tools that everyday people can use to protect themselves," Greer said in a statement.
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