Datafication, Transparency and Trust in the Digital Domain

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til rapportRådgivning

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'By treating the Internet as a giant surveillance platform, the NSA has betrayed the Internet and the world. It has subverted the products, protocols, and standards that we use to protect ourselves. It has left us vulnerable – to foreign governments, to cybercriminals, to hackers. And it has transformed the Internet into a medium that no one can trust.' (Schneier 2014) This chapter explores how developments in the area of digital technologies have ramifications for trust. In particular, it investigates how the extensive kinds of transparency made possible by digital technologies and digital data relate to a possible erosion of trust and increased scepticism when it comes to digital infrastructures and data aggregation. In this context, the digital domain refers not only to the internet, mobile technologies and other information and communication technologies, but also to the emergence of vast amounts of digital data requiring new modes of analysis and allowing for new forms of prediction and profiling. In the context of the digital domain, trust issues revolve primarily around the degree to which users, consumers and others consider online spaces to be safe and reliable platforms for communication, social interactions and economic transactions. But questions of trust also include more general concerns about surveillance, privacy and processes of data aggregation and - management, as well as more specialized issues such as algorithmic forms of knowledge production and governance. The chapter is structured as follows: the first part offers some
background information about the digital domain. The second part provides some comments on methodology and gives an overview of the emergent developments in the digital domain that affect
trust negatively. These discussions focus on three issue areas indicating that trust may be at risk: government surveillance, leaks and data breaches, and corporate big data profiling. While these
are not exhaustive of the many intersections between trust and the digital domain, they point to some important developments in need of attention. The third part considers some current and
possible future responses to these developments and provides a short conclusion, focusing primarily on regulatory and policy developments, sustainable data value chains and responsible data management, and privacy enhancing tools and the need for increased 'data literacy' and capacity-building.
TitelTrust at Risk: Implications for EU Policies and Institutions : Report of the Expert Group "Trust at Risk? Foresight on the Medium-Term Implications for European Research and Innovation Policies (TRUSTFORESIGHT)"
ForlagPublications Office of the European Union
ISBN (Trykt)9789279655173
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Digital technology
  • Economic activity
  • Economic and social cohesion
  • EU institution
  • EU policy
  • Head of State
  • Innovation
  • Internet
  • Public administration
  • Research and development