Why we need an international personal data Trust Mark online

Digi.me is delighted to have sponsored today’s Trust Framework workshop, hosted by the MEF at the Kuppinger Cole Identity event in Paris.

Our Founder and Executive Chairman Julian Ranger made a speech there emphasising the need for an internationally-agreed Trust Mark and associated Trust Framework.

Digi.me is already at the forefront of trust because one of our founding visions is that we give data back to individuals in ways that mean we, as a company, never see, touch or hold it.

Our app then allows them to share that data with businesses either through private sharing on their device, or off it – but always fully in control of what is shared and with whom.

But that in itself raises issues in knowing who you can trust with that data.

Having a clear and identifiable Trust Mark will help users here and elsewhere distinguish those companies that also put trust at the heart of everything they do, and so accordingly can themselves be trusted.

You can read the text of Julian’s speech below:

“Putting your trust in someone puts you at risk – it makes you vulnerable. Trust is the bridge between the known and the unknown.

If we are to share more personal data than we do today, we are stepping into the unknown, increasing our risk, our vulnerability as individuals.

We need a signal that this option is safe – can be trusted – that there is no risk and it exposes us to no new vulnerabilities.

That is the role of a Trust Mark, and its associated Trust Framework.

There are Trust Marks today, of course, and many Trust Frameworks, BUT…

…They are not well recognised and/or are used in very specific conditions.

Some are very clear (you have seen Orange’s today for example), but many are more opaque.

Despite these issues, they have been shown to have a positive effect with more business being done when a Trust Mark is displayed than when not.

Today we have unnecessary duplication of effort that actually only ends up confusing the customer – if they recognise the various marks at all.

I contend we need a single, easily understood and clear Personal Data Trust Mark and associated Trust Framework that can be widely adopted, that enables a consumer anywhere in the world to know that they are safe sharing who they are, their identity and personal data with the business that has been independently assessed as meeting the TF.

A very simple example of a Trust Mark is the padlock in the browser URL bar.

The question then arises: what is trust?

What are the important characteristics that need to be defined and met to provide the assurance required from a consumer perspective?

This is the key question that will drive a TF that can be widely adopted.

Trust has been built over centuries face to face and through established institutions.

But trust doesn’t scale well, and over the internet we have started to lose trust just at the time we want to do more, to scale more.

Nothing is fool proof, of course, but we need to do more in building trust and in recovery of trust when things do go wrong.

I believe agreeing and using an internationally recognised Trust Mark and Framework, that can be implemented across the world, will be a major step to ensuring consumers can trust those businesses that adopt it.

Giving a positive edge in persuading customers to make available their data to allow businesses to provide wider, deeper, engaging services and products based on that data.”

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