If that were not challenging enough, the emergence of trust-jarring digital interactions has also coincided with a sharp decline in trust for major institutions, such as government (and Congress and the presidency), the news media, public schools, the church and banks. Many of these respondents made references to changes now being implemented or being considered to enhance the online trust environment.
The question arises, then: What will happen to online trust in the coming decade? They mentioned the spread of encryption, better online identity-verification systems, tighter security standards in internet protocols, new laws and regulations, new techno-social systems like crowdsourcing and up-voting/down-voting or challenging online content.
They think this will be led by younger users who are fully immersed in online life.
In summer 2016, Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a large canvassing of technologists, scholars, practitioners, strategic thinkers and other leaders, asking them to react to this framing of the issue: Billions of people use cellphones and the internet now and hundreds of millions more are expected to come online in the next decade. One particular focus of participants’ answers involved blockchain technology, because our follow-up prompt specifically asked people to consider the role of blockchain in the future of trust on the internet.
At the same time, more than half of those who use the internet and cellphones still do not use that connectivity for shopping, Some 1,233 responded to this nonscientific canvassing: 48% chose the option that trust will be strengthened; 28% of these particular respondents believe that trust will stay the same; and 24% predicted that trust will be diminished. Blockchain is an encryption-protected digital ledger that is designed to facilitate transactions and interactions that are validated in a way that cannot be edited.
As Vinton Cerf, one of the creators of internet protocols, put it: “We didn’t focus on how you could wreck this system intentionally.” (Cerf is a respondent to the question addressed in this report; his worried quote is featured here.) Moreover, the rise of the internet and social media has enabled entirely new kinds of relationships and communities in which trust must be negotiated with others whom users do not see, with faraway enterprises, under circumstances that are not wholly familiar, in a world exploding with information of uncertain provenance used by actors employing ever-proliferating strategies to capture users’ attention.
In addition, the internet serves as a conduit for the public’s privacy to be compromised through surveillance and cyberattacks and additional techniques for them to fall victim to scams and bad actors. What role might the spread of blockchain systems play?
It’s only a matter of time before some standards emerge that bind the ideas of identity and personal information with these verticals such that it becomes possible to share and exchange key information, as required, and with consent to facilitate much stronger trusted relationships between users and their service providers.” Stephen Downes, researcher at National Research Council Canada, wrote, “We experience many reasons to distrust our interactions.
And traditional media are reporting numerous cases where they should be distrusted, so we think rising distrust is the norm.
Trust has not been having a good run in recent years, and there is considerable concern that people’s uses of the internet are a major contributor to the problem.
For starters, the internet was not designed with security protections or trust problems in mind.
Their reasoning generally flows in two streams: 1) Some expect to see improved technology emerge that will allow people to have confidence in the organizations and individuals with whom they interact online.
They argue that improvements in identifying and authenticating users will build trust.
Those who have doubts about progress say people are inured to risk, addicted to convenience and will not be offered alternatives to online interaction. By Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson Trust is a social, economic and political binding agent.