Cybertrust: An Economic Imperative

from the do-you-trust-me? dept

One area I’ve been interested in quite some time is the various ways that people and companies build “trust metrics” on the internet. How do you determine who you can trust online and how do you prove that you, yourself, are trustworthy? I’ve always thought it was an interesting question, with many different potential solutions for different situations – though, I would say, most have serious drawbacks. Here’s a worthwhile article that suggests that not only is it an “interesting” problem, it’s something that needs to be solved to advance the economic possibilities of the internet. The writer points out that transactions done between parties that trust each other have much less friction, and can thus be done at a much lower cost to both parties. In a situation where the trust levels are high, the efficiencies are great – and the benefits to the trading parties are made even greater. The article suggests that the next generation of e-commerce needs to take this into account in how they design their systems. Of course, where the article falls apart completely is that it doesn’t give us any real suggestions for what this “cybertrust” system should look like. Are we talking about an eBay feedback system on steroids? Something like Advagato’s trust metrics? Or something completely different? While I like the ideas behind the Advagato system, it seems like the trust system, itself, carries too much weight, to the point where many people are confused at first – something that holds back usage. A system like eBay’s is easier to understand, but is much more prone to gaming.

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