i2Coalition (Internet Infrastructure Coalition), an organization that gives a platform to professionals in the internet infrastructure sector, has recently launched the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI), a membership-led group of VPN business leaders “focused on improving digital safety for consumers.”

The founding members of VTI are ExpressVPN, NordVPN, GoldenFrog (VyprVPN), Surfshark, and NetProtect, which owns encrypt.me, WLVPN, SugarSync, IPVanish, StrongVPN, OverPlay, and SaferVPN.

i2Coalition’s mission is to “keep the Internet open as an engine for growth and innovation” and the new group will specifically focus on “building understanding, strengthening trust, and mitigating risk for VPN users.”

The VTI lists several other aims including designing and reinforcing industry standards, promoting appropriate industry-led regulations, and informing the wider technology industry.

It will do this by reaching out to three key groups: legislators, technologists, and VPN users themselves.

Speaking about the launch, co-founder of i2Coalition Christian Dawson said: “VPNs are a foundational technology for a safer internet, so it’s important that VPN providers adhere to best practices. However, it’s also important that new legislation doesn’t inadvertently limit the effectiveness of VPNs.

“This initiative offers a vital and unique opportunity for the industry to come together as a collective and spearhead real awareness, education, and progress.”

Laura Tyrell, NordVPN’s Head of Public Relations echoed Dawson’s comments, saying: “[The] VPN industry reached the point when we need to create and validate mutually agreed industry guidelines and policies.

“It is inevitable if we all want to ensure trust and transparency for the VPN market and pave ethical and technical business standards for the future. VPNs already are an important tool for many internet users worldwide, ensuring better online security, privacy, and even digital human rights.”

This isn’t the first time that VPN brands have come together to foster transparency and trust within the industry.

In October 2018 ExpressVPN, IVPN, Mullvad, TunnelBear, VyprVPN, and Invincibull VPN worked with the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) to produce a set of questions that trustworthy VPN services should be able to easily answer.

The questions address issues about the VPNs’ business models, privacy policies, security features, and corporate accountability.

All of the VPN services involved provided answers to the questions, collectively named the Signals of Trustworthy VPNs, and they can be found on the CDT’s website.