- New multi-stakeholder report outlines how CEOs and other leaders can make better technology decisions and earn trust
- The report provides a decision-making framework with tech leaders’ commitment to security and reliability, accountability and oversight, and inclusive, ethical and responsible use of technology
Geneva, Switzerland: Digital trust is the expectation by individuals that digital technologies and services – and the organisations providing them – will protect all stakeholders’ interests and uphold societal expectations and values, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.
From artificial intelligence to connected devices, from the security of personal information to algorithmic predictions, failures by technology developers and digital service providers have eroded confidence at an unprecedented scale and rate. Surveys have also registered an alarming decrease in trust in science and technology as well as a host of other social institutions and links. The trust gap is growing year by year, just as our reliance on digital networks and technologies is accelerating.
The report, “Earning Digital Trust: Decision-Making for Trustworthy Technologies” written in collaboration with Forum partners Accenture, KPMG and PwC, outlines how collaboration between cybersecurity, privacy, ethics and other business functions can improve trust in technology.
Citizens and consumers expect companies and technology developers to take their values – on privacy, data use and inclusion – seriously. Where companies are unable to produce technology that meets those expectations, they can no longer expect widescale adoption. Companies are not ready to meet this challenge.
PwC indicated recently that only 10% of executives feel ready to comply with cybersecurity transparency requirements.
Accenture suggested that a growing lack of trust cost US organizations $ 756 billion in 2017 alone and that today more than 76% of CEOs say citizen trust is critical to business competitiveness.
KPMG said increased trust can lead to better profitability but, at the same time, over 75% of executives believe that new technologies such as artificial learning and machine learning raise troubling questions on cybersecurity and ethics.
To reverse this alarming trend, the World Economic Forum convened representatives of the world’s largest tech and consumer-focused companies – including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Mastercard, Walmart, IKEA, PayPal and others – alongside government representatives from the US, European Commission and Singapore and leading consumer advocates to create a framework for companies to commit to earning digital trust.
The Forum’s Digital Trust Framework shows for the first time how commitment to cybersecurity, privacy, transparency, redressability, auditability, fairness, interoperability and safety – when taken together and driven by CEOs – can improve both citizen and consumer trust in technology and the companies that create and use new technologies.
The Forum’s report provides both a framework – with detailed goals and dimensions to support digital trust – and a roadmap for companies on how they can become more trustworthy in their use and development of technology.
According to World Economic Forum Managing Director and Centre for Cybersecurity Head Jeremy Jurgens, “Developing trustworthy technologies is a decision – and responsibility – that rests with leaders across sectors and industries. The World Economic Forum’s Digital Trust Framework will help to guide leaders in making decisions that cultivate more trustworthy and responsible technology.”
“The most important decision we can make in the 21st century is whether we will work together to build trust or watch innovation fail. By focusing on the values and expectations of individuals, and by committing to security and reliability, accountability and oversight, and inclusive, ethical, and responsible use of technology, we can make the technology we develop more trustworthy,” said World Economic Forum Head of Governance and Trust Daniel Dobrygowski .
“Improving digital trust is vital for digital citizenship to flourish. The Forum’s new Digital Trust Framework is an essential resource for making technology more trustworthy for individual consumers and citizens,” said Walmart Chief Counsel, Digital Citizenship Senior Vice-President Nuala O’Connor.
“Deploying trustworthy technology should be the goal of all organisations. The World Economic Forum’s Digital Trust Framework is a helpful roadmap that will provide guidance to leaders in making decisions that advance technology in responsible ways. As part of the steering committee, I’m grateful to contribute Microsoft’s learnings from our journey aligning our efforts on the interconnected governance of privacy, digital safety and responsible AI.
“The resulting WEF Digital Trust Framework will help guide other organisations on their path to earn digital trust,” said Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer and Corporate Vice President Julie Brill.
“Without trust in digital systems, the financial services ecosystem we have today could not exist. The Forum’s Digital Trust Initiative is playing a critical role in helping to define what trust means in the digital world,” said Mastercard Cyber and Intelligence Solutions President Ajay Bhalla.
“Consumer trust is built when companies put the essential needs and rights of their consumers first and foremost. As a representative of consumer advocates around the world, Consumers International is glad to be part of the Digital Trust Initiative calling for companies to inform and empower consumers,” said Consumers International Director-General Helena Leurent, the membership organisation for 200 consumer advocacy groups in over 100 countries including Consumer Reports, Which UK, CHOICE Australia, Consumer Voice (India), El Poder del Consumidor (Mexico), Hong Kong Consumer Council, Consommateur Maroc, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and many more.
“At IKEA, trust is at the heart of everything we do. Whether it’s in our products or trust in how we handle your data. Trust must be earned, and we see it as a collective effort. IKEA is a proud partner of the World Economic Forum’s Digital Trust Initiative, and we look forward to contributing on creating a shared vision for digital trust between citizens, government, and organisations,” said IKEA Retail (Ingka Group) Global Vice President- Digital Ethics and Responsible AI Nozha Boujemaa.