Trust in the Digital Age: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

 

Trust can’t be automated by technology, it can’t be fixed by compliance and regulation.

Rachel Botsman Visiting Academic, University of Oxford; Author, Who Can You Trust?
Session

Trust in the Digital Age: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

Setup

Trust is fundamental to almost every action, relationship, and transaction in society, but we live in an era when technology is rapidly changing who and how we trust. The trust we used to place in traditional institutions such as governments, banks, media, and charities has hit an all-time low, and trust now flows horizontally through systems and networks that are as likely to be populated by programs and bots as by our fellow human beings.Rachel Botsman, author of Who Can You Trust?, will discuss the impacts of technology on trust — which society needs to survive and thrive, and needs now more than ever.

Think of trust as a process, not an attribute
Think of trust as a process, not an attribute
How is trust like energy?
Transparency ≠ trust
Is tech moving too fast for trust to keep up?
1.

Think of trust as a process, not an attribute

Jump to idea
02:42

Rachel Botsman, visiting academic at Oxford University, thinks it’s strange when organizations say they want to rebuild trust after a crisis. Why? Because trust is given to someone after they’ve proven themselves trustworthy. For Botsman, trust requires a continual process of proving trustworthiness. It’s not an attribute that one can assign to themselves without first having earned it.

In order for trust to become an asset, in order for trust to be an attribute, it works as a continual process.
Rachel Botsman
2.

How is trust like energy?

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12:50

Watch Rachel Botsman describe energy as a way to think about the changing state of trust in the 21st century:

3.

Transparency ≠ trust

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28:06

If trust is, as Botsman defines it, a confident relationship to the unknown, then why is society so obsessed with transparency? Transparency and trust are often seen as symbiotic traits, but Botsman thinks we should think of them exactly the opposite. Transparency becomes important when there is a lack of trust, not an excess of it. If we as a society truly trusted Facebook, for example, no one would be calling for an increase in transparency around user consent and data sharing. Instead, according to Bostman, we would inherently trust Facebook with our data.

In September of 2018, Facebook users learned that user data collected by Facebook was being shared with over 60 outside companies. Users had not explicitly consented to this sharing, nor did Facebook make it public knowledge. And in June of the same year, Facebook announced that over 50 million users had their data stolen by a malicious hack.
4.

Is tech moving too fast for trust to keep up?

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40:54

Tech is moving at such a breakneck pace that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with discussions about what’s appropriate and desirable — in relation to both society and our daily lives. Listen as Botsman makes the case for slowing down in response to rapid advancement:

Screen Shot 2019 04 10 At 1000 23 Am
Is tech moving too fast for trust to keep up?

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Trust in the Digital Age: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

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