In recent decades, digital transformation has fundamentally altered how humans interact, how companies conduct business, and how governments work. More recently, data-driven applications and algorithmic processes have created unprecedented opportunities for citizens, companies and governments around the world, pertaining to the fields of automated data processing and automated decision-making procedures. These applications have great potential to increase innovation and productivity, and to further the welfare of individuals and societies.
However, such data-driven applications and algorithmic processes also present potential risks. Despite the best intentions, they have the capacity to cause unintentional harm and may affect human rights, individual autonomy, competitive market order, financial stability, democratic processes, and national sovereignty. In addition, they can increase inequality and shift control away from humans to algorithms. The deep transformation of our societies triggered by these applications has the potential to undermine trust between citizens, companies, and governments.
Thus, building trust in digital infrastructure and strengthen responsibility for individuals and organizations will be the foundation for societal innovation in the next decade of digital transformation.
To this end, the SDI works on concrete projects to put into practice ethical standards in the digital age.
We are working on developing the first Digital Trust Label that denotes the trustworthiness of a digital service in clear, visual and plain, non-technical language for everyone to understand. With the Label, consumers can be assured of the trustworthiness of the digital service they consume.
Find out more on our dedicated project page.
Having started our work already in 2019, we have closely followed developments in the field of digital trust.
To foster collaboration among like-minded initiatives, we have compiled a comprehensive report on the digital trust ecosystem that takes a closer look at 12 of the most relevant initiatives and analyzed success factors as well as similarities and differences compared to the Swiss Digital Trust Label.
Find out more on our work on the Digital Trust Ecosystem here.
In a trend map developed for SDI, the independent think tank W.I.R.E. identified strategic areas of action for decision-makers to foster trust and responsibility. In the next decade, we will face more individual empowerment, increased convenience, new communities, and higher security, but we also have to prepare for data-driven intransparencies, algorithmic discrimination, loss of control, and the erosion of privacy. Based on these findings, SDI aims to explore new projects and measures in the future.
For an overview of all our publications, see here.