QUALITY TESTING LABS BUSINESS PLAN (EXCERPT)
The mission of Quality Testing Labs is to enable consumers to trust in Internet Sites, Internet-related Services, computer hardware and software product providers and others by enabling these entities to provide a similar level of consumer confidence and trust as that of traditional businesses. This is accomplished in a number of ways, some of which are described in this Business Plan, and others that will be developed and implemented based upon Public feedback, changes in government policies and changes within the industries Quality Testing Labs serves.
Quality Testing Labs is involved in the ongoing development and implementation of a self-governing system of checks and balances for the Internet, Internet-related Services, and computer hardware and software products via a Licensing Process and attendant procedures and Services. Quality Testing Labs provides the ultimate level of Consumer Confidence and Trust for Internet Sites, Products, and Services through its unique Licensing Program, Consumer and Licensee Awareness Programs and Consumer/Licensee Advocacy.
Quality Testing Labs (QTL) is a self-governing, independent organization committed to providing mechanisms for the highest levels of Consumer Confidence and Trust in Internet Sites, Internet-related Services, software and hardware, physical products and Services, Companies and others that can only be achieved by an impartial third party.
Internet-related Services, software and hardware, physical products and Services, and Companies that are willing to commit, sponsor and adhere to Quality Testing Labs’ fundamental set of best business practices will show their commitment, raise the ‘bar’ internally and without legislation, and themselves flourish and grow. In so doing, Quality Testing Labs believes that the early adopters will force a trend that will inure to the betterment and benefit of all people. Consumers will benefit from the value these entities provide and the ethical manner in which they have agreed to operate. The entities themselves will benefit and flourish from the enhanced consumer confidence, trust, consumer loyalty and willingness to try new products and services that results. The outcome will be a World with greater trust, less deception and a greater focus on the Public’s welfare and the enhancement of the standard of living for all. At a time where the public has lost confidence and trust in many Companies and Organizations, Quality Testing Labs believes this lack of trust can be regained by working step by step within the system to encourage beneficial and what it feels is necessary change. As the Internet grows and creates a more global exchange, trust and confidence in those operating inside as well as outside of one’s own Country will become even more pivotal. Although Quality Testing Labs realizes it may not be able to change the World overnight, it believes it can set a precedent through its programs and initiatives that no single government, nor a union of governments, nor a union of industry members could achieve in such as an expeditious manner. What can be seen on the worldwide web at www.qualitytestinglabs.com is only the beginning of an ongoing, ever growing and ever changing effort to improve the quality of life worldwide.
Since the Internet is the thread that will tie the World together, and since Consumer Confidence and Trust has become a major issue and roadblock to user acceptance of the Internet, Quality Testing Labs will focus on creating awareness and providing solutions that work within the framework of the existing system. Various programs and initiatives will be launched that do not require government regulation, and that would be difficult if not impossible to achieve globally.
Rather than focus on new laws and enforcement that have not been able to keep pace with the rapid change, Quality Testing Labs will focus on getting the individuals, companies and organizations themselves to comply with a higher set of fundamentals and ethics. Our belief is that if only a few initially embrace the concept, others will follow by necessity. In other words, awareness and the availability of a self-governing mechanism will propel a trend towards ethical practices and procedures.
Using awareness as the catalyst, and various programs as the tools, QTL’s initial objective is to promote, distribute, and license the QT Mark, a ‘seal of accreditation’, to Internet Sites, related markets, and others. The QT Mark and the agreement behind it, will help reposition entities as those that can be trusted by their own agreement to be governed by QTL as a third party intermediary. Without government intervention or the need for additional laws nationally or internationally, QTL believes it will be able to achieve its mission in a more timely manner than any other initiative it has recognized to date.
The QT Mark is the only Mark of accreditation that covers all the areas of concern consumers have with using, trusting and relying on existing and emerging Internet Sites, Services and Products – online and offline. By agreeing on their own to sponsor the Mark, Licensees have shown their commitment to the cause.
These consumer concerns, based on fundamental ethical business practices, include:
PRIVACY of all data and personal information
SECURITY of all data and personal information
CUSTOMER SERVICE provided in an accessible and timely manner
RELIABILITY of the Site, product or service
REASONABLE DELIVERY of products and services
STABILITY of the entity providing the product or service even in the event of bankruptcy
CLEAR DISCLOSURE of what will be done with gathered information
HONESTY AND INTEGRITY of the entity and its practices and procedures
INSURANCE in the event of loss, misuse, fraud, harm or damage arising from use
ENFORCEMENT in the event of violation of promises and covenants made
FINANCIAL PENALTIES levied against entities that violate promises and covenants made
INDEPENDENT ADVOCACY to resolve disputes that may arise
COMPLIANCE with a basic set of Ethical Practices, Procedures and Principles
The combination of the aforementioned fundamentals is combined via the QTL Code of Ethical Business Practices QTL Licensees must agree to. This enables the level of Consumer Confidence the majority of users/consumers require to trust, rely on, and comfortably use existing and emerging Internet Sites/Services, computer-related services and Products, and others. The Code for each type of product or service is slightly different though the basic principles and fundamentals remain the same.
The QT Mark is displayed on Internet Sites and Products (as well as in relation to Services), and in offline advertising and promotion. When a visitor clicks on the QT Mark on a QT-Licensed Site, a window pops up displaying the agreements and covenants (the Code) the site has made with Quality Testing Labs and indicates the level of sponsorship they have provided. When displayed in printed form, it includes a URL that the user can visit to see the specific Code of Ethics the Site, Service, Product, or other entity has agreed to comply with.
QTL believes Site and User Liability Insurance is also an essential ingredient of the Code though it will not immediately be required. It is currently cost-prohibitive to the majority and provides inadequate coverage based on its cost. The greatest part of the cost is the prerequisite Security Assessment that Insurers currently require (that can be four times the cost of the insurance premium itself). A minimal policy with a median Security Assessment can cost a Site between $50,000 and $500,000. QTL will work with the Insurance Providers and Security entities and Companies to drive the down the total combined cost and make it affordable and reasonable. Standardization of security policies and procedures and an ongoing initiative to keep these current with changes in technology is one way QTL plans to help reduce the attendant costs and ultimately achieve the availability of policies that are reasonable to the consumer and affordable to the Licensee. Another means to this end is via our educational and awareness programs, promotion of the issue, and other solutions we will initiate.
In the Internet arena in particular, there is currently no entity that addresses all of the valid and critical issues and concerns of end users/consumers. Existing entities address only very limited aspects. For instance, privacy entities such as Truste help companies write their own Privacy Policies yet they lack adequate penalty? mechanisms; and Security entities such as Verisign provide security through data encryption for transactional data. These are helpful, yet they do not come close to addressing all the issues of consumer concern that the QT Mark covers.
Furthermore, in Truste’s case, the Board of Directors is comprised of employees of those directly involved in the industry that inherently causes bias and dilution of the strength of the service – namely America Online, Microsoft, Intel, Network Solutions, and others.