Ten Digital Trust Challenges

We live in an era where technology is changing our lives at a rate that every part of society is grappling to keep up with. Technology creates enormous opportunities and new risks alike. Many people are worrying about their privacy; companies are seeing their business models come under attack from new digital entrants and their corporate behaviour magnified in real time through social media; and governments are facing diminished control as new forms of communication empower their citizens – to mention only a few changes.

It’s not just the challenge of keeping up to speed with technological developments. It’s whether and how the current design of our private and public institutions needs to adapt to cope with these changes and to restore the trust of society – digital trust. In June, to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, we looked at how institutions (organised and purposeful interactions of people based on contract, law or culture) must create and maintain trust through legitimacy, effectiveness and transparency, and how global megatrends like technology are driving the need for a design transformation and a bold new charter for our digital world.

Here we take a look at 10 digital trust issues that in our view institutions must grow new capabilities to address. These issues centre around the ethics and control of data access and use, interaction through the Internet, digital risk resilience and value creation in the digital age. The emergent and interconnected nature of these issues – and the regulatory response to them – highlight the challenges organisations face. How – and how quickly - will they have to adapt their design to create trust against this backdrop of digital transformation? We consider a few questions below in the context of the three pillars of a trustworthy institution.

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