IWTS Description

The International Website Trust Standard

The International Website Trust Standard (IWTS) is a quality standard for websites that shows whether a site is trustworthy. The Fachverband deutscher Webseitenbetreiber (FdWB; Association of German Website Operators), together with other professional institutions, has developed a trust standard for websites, which offers website operators, end consumers and users of websites a high degree of security.

Website operators protect and improve their website by taking measures in the areas of cyber security, data protection, ownership and identification obligations as well as user-friendliness and thus make an additional contribution to self-protection and the protection of their visitors. These are decisive advantages, both for the website operators and for the safety of the website visitors and end consumers.

Users and end consumers of the websites visited can see at a glance whether the website is particularly secure and trustworthy by means of the IWTS seal. Experience has shown that the trust in the use of the website and the frequency of use of the certified websites is significantly increased.

The IWTS certification programme has been designed using the ISO 17067 in such a way that the certification process is carried out by a neutral third party, Control Union Certifications Germany GmbH, which carries out its work on the basis of the ISO 17065 and has a valid accreditation by a national accreditation body. The audits are based on the provisions of ISO 19001.

The certification programme is based on four quality-related principles

  1. The IWTS standard contains a list of quality-relevant test criteria, which have been defined on the basis of recognized standards. They cover the areas of cyber security, data protection, ownership and identification obligations, and user-friendliness. The areas include the verification of confidence-building and security-related measures and information. The standard relieves both website operators and users of websites of the burden of knowing in detail about the necessary criteria of a quality-oriented website themselves and of checking them at each visit, because the IWTS-Standard aggregates all this knowledge. Whoever follows the standard is on the safe side. Website operators and website users can rely on a high level of implementation of legally prescribed requirements and technical safety. Websites marked with the IWTS seal (logo) have been tested and have passed all security measures of the standard.
  2. The conformity tests of the websites to be certified are carried out by certification bodies independent of the FdWB and of the website operators, which carry out their work on the basis of ISO 17065. Their reliability and neutrality are ensured by a state-recognised accreditation, which must be completed annually.
  3. The costs for certification are kept at the lowest possible level by exclusively using cost-saving desk audits as inspection procedures. Thus, the IWTS certification is no high cost burden for website operators, especially for smaller companies with a small budget. For those certified in the IWTS certification program, the IWTS seal (conformity mark) is free of charge. The exact costs for the certification can be viewed here: Price Overview
  4. For website operators who require support for the creation of certifiable websites, the FdWB and its cooperating providers of website services provide the following services: FdWB consulting

Main objectives of the IWTS-Standard

  • The IWTS-Standard is intended to support website operators in understanding legal and safety requirements and motivate them to implement them.

  • By implementing the criteria of the IWTS-Standard, website operators ensure self-protection against, in most cases, warnings or even official sanctions as well as against the risk of being hacked or losing an entire web project.

  • An implementation of the IWTS-Standard in accordance with the requirements, which is marked with a seal of confidence for websites, brings increased trust and more recognition from users and end consumers.

  • Every website is equipped with many benefits through the implementation and certification with the IWTS-Standard, from which all parties involved benefit.

The IWTS certification is currently offered in two variants

  1. The German IWTS variant
  2. The International IWTS variant

Both variants include the same demanding criteria in the areas of cyber security and user-friendliness. The German variant contains in particular the important data protection and ownership criteria and criteria of the identification obligations of the Telemedia Act (TMG) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; in German DSGVO), which are mandatory in Germany. Since internationally almost every country has its own criteria and interpretations, the international standard includes minimum criteria which the FdWB requires for secure and trustworthy websites and which are required for certification in accordance with the IWTS. The prices for the two variants of the IWTS-Standard are identical and depend on the same criteria. Details about the prices can be found here: Price Overview

Further information on the IWTS-Standard