The Case of Online Trust

Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (3-4):333-345 (2010)
Abstract
This paper contributes to the debate on online trust addressing the problem of whether an online environment satisfies the necessary conditions for the emergence of trust. The paper defends the thesis that online environments can foster trust, and it does so in three steps. Firstly, the arguments proposed by the detractors of online trust are presented and analysed. Secondly, it is argued that trust can emerge in uncertain and risky environments and that it is possible to trust online identities when they are diachronic and sufficient data are available to assess their reputation. Finally, a definition of trust as a second-order property of first-order relation is endorsed in order to present a new definition of online trust. According to such a definition, online trust is an occurrence of trust that specifically qualifies the relation of communication ongoing among individuals in digital environments. On the basis of this analysis, the paper concludes by arguing that online trust promotes the emergence of social behaviours rewarding honest and transparent communications.
Keywords Online trust  trust  Trustworthiness
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Citations of this work BETA
Anthony F. Beavers (2011). Recent Developments in Computing and Philosophy. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):385-397.
Mark Coeckelbergh (2012). Can We Trust Robots? Ethics and Information Technology 14 (1):53-60.
Mariarosaria Taddeo & Luciano Floridi (2011). The Case for E-Trust. Ethics and Information Technology 13 (1):1-3.
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Mark Coeckelbergh (2012). Can We Trust Robots? Ethics and Information Technology 14 (1):53-60.
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