Designing for Trust

Designing for Trust

Piotr Cofta (British Telecom, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-264-0.ch026
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Abstract

Designing for trust is a methodology that attempts to design our perception of trust in information systems, in the long-term expectation that such systems will foster justified trust among people. The methodology contains several tools, but this chapter concentrates on a specific analytical tool that can be used to assess the compatibility between existing and required relationships of trust, in the context of information flow. While still under development, this methodology brings interesting results, identifying and addressing the strengths and weaknesses of incoming technical systems before they are actually deployed. This chapter discusses basic principles of designing for trust, presents the architectures of trust compatibility assessment tool and shows its applicability to citizen identity systems, using the proposed United Kingdom scheme as an example.
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We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.

—Marshall McLuhan

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Trust

Trust is one of the most pervasive yet least understood phenomena. While it has 17 different meanings and encompasses 30 constructs (McKnight & Chervany, 1996), the average person can intuitively and immediately determine the extent of trust in another person—as long as he can interact with such a person, preferably face to face. The operational definition of trust that is used throughout the paper is derived from several typical constructs found in the literature (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995).

The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other party will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party

Key Terms in this Chapter

Agent: Collective name of a human or technical entity that takes active part in the information flow and in relationships of trust.

Identity system: The socio-technical system that is used to assert identities of human agents with an aid of certain technical means, according to formal policies and social practices

Technology adoption: The extent by which a given technology becomes accepted and incorporated into approved social practices.

Socio-technical compatibility: Compatibility between social relationships assumed by the technology and actual relationships present at the time of technology adoption

Distrust: The functional complement of trust, where the perception of a hostility of an agent leads to the desire to avoid any reliance on such agent.

Justified trust: The extent of a trust that the trustor has towards the trustee that is matching trustworthiness of such trustee.

Trust: The willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other party will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party

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