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The Information Trust Exchange Governing Association (ITEGA) fosters a digital marketplace that respects user privacy and enables trustworthy identity. It provides Internet stakeholders a forum to convene, develop and implement governing protocols and business rules for protecting and balancing trust, privacy, identity and information commerce. It is a U.S. tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public-benefit corporation.

It’s a “NetGain“-style initiative to help:

  • Users regain control over their privacy and identity
  • Publishers to improve the trustworthiness, relevance and value of advertising
  • Create platforms that could allow a “fast-pass for news” (and other information) across the Internet.

ITEGA’s operating tasks are to define, guide and govern a layer of Internet business rules and network protocols for sharing user authentication, profiles, advertising, subscription and copyright payments and billing — as ICANN does for domain names.
Its activities seek to:

  • 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.
  • PERSONALIZATION — Help quality publishers, broadcasters and digital content services to improve the relevance and value of advertising and news 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.
  • 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.  To sustain journalism’s values, principles and purposes, there is a critical need for new infrastructure and business model innovation that will help reduce the commoditization and concentrated control of individual identity.  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.

Our first three efforts:

  • Support launch of a federated single-sign-on service for news organizations, governed by ITEGA
  • Deploy a proof-of-concept  for a first-party-user-data exchange that would be privacy-by-design.
  • Help publishers understand the impact of user-data leakage and the opportunity to encourage users to install tracking protection.

Long term, we want ITEGA-certified networks 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 network-type rules and protocols (probably open source), will be controlled and governed by this non-profit, non-governmental organization.
By enabling digital content and ad-exchange payment services, fee and member revenue to ITEGA might grow to support such things as:

• Grants for non-profit, professional, public-interest journalism
• Digital library-pass access grants to promote literacy and inclusion and
• A “Report for America”-style initiative supporting participatory media

ITEGA sseeks to help define architectures and embrace protocols and interfaces which can then be built out by companies who become ITEGA supporting technology members. Their role will be to fully create ITEGA-compliant networks sharing user data, content and payments. These member/partners will recover their technology and infrastructure investments with the revenues from operational services. A key business partner is the Local Media Consortium.

The ITE project has been incubated by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. The independent non-profit, member association, the Information Trust Exchange Governing Association, was incorporated Jan. 30, 2017.

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