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Are We Losing Trust in Tech?

Digital transformation has changed the way we live and work. And for many of us, tech is such an important part of our daily lives that it would be difficult to exist without it. It’s a reflection of how far we’ve come in trusting the technology that we use.

When we bring new connected devices into the home, it’s trust that’s the key to consent. The providers who make them collect data about us, record us speaking, and monitor our location. If that relationship of trust is not in place, these devices cannot do the job they were designed for.

Trust is also crucial when services monetise our data. For example, when we sign up for social networking accounts, we place trust in the providers which store and share our data according to a clearly defined policy, in exchange for free use of their service. Any provider that overreaches and betrays the trust of its users is likely to attract negative media attention and potentially jeopardise its future growth.

As new technologies, like artificial intelligence, become firmly embedded into our homes and workplaces, trust will be essential to prevent friction between the old world and the new. But are we becoming more sceptical of tech, and can businesses really build the trust they need to fully implement these new innovations?

Pushing the Boundaries of Trust

Tech giants are masters of disruption. They owe a great deal of their success to their ability to push boundaries and challenge the status quo. This has, at times, resulted in businesses pushing consumer trust to its limits — whether by accident or design. Some have done this to their benefit, and some to their peril.

Consumers are also losing trust in other constants that society once took for granted. Take mainstream media, now struggling to find a foothold among a slew of independent publishers, in an age of fake news and ‘alternative facts’.

As tech advances into new and unknown territory, risks are sometimes seen to outweigh benefits. Take artificial intelligence as an example: even if you’re not too concerned about the eventual rule of our self-created machine overlords, AI could eventually make you redundant — which is arguably a more immediate problem.

Trust is not a constant. It shifts and changes among different demographics, and from one week to the next. Trust needs to be built over time, yet it will crumble far more quickly when things go wrong.

Read the full report on Tech and Trust from London Tech Week’s headline thought leadership event, the LeadersIn Tech Summit. This report discusses the importance of trust, how it is gained and lost, and whether we are nearing the limits of consumer trust in today’s digitally transformed world. We’ve also invited some of our keynote speakers to provide their thoughts and take-aways. Access free report.

June 2019