The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade | Pew Research Center

, ; The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade; Pew Research Center; 2017-08-10; 89 pages; landing.

Teaser

Many experts say lack of trust will not be a barrier to increased public reliance on the internet. Those who are hopeful that trust will grow expect technical and regulatory change will combat users’ concerns about security and privacy. Those who have doubts about progress say people are inured to risk, addicted to convenience and will not be offered alternatives to online interaction. Some expect the very nature of trust will change.

Concept

  • Delphi-type survey design
  • N=1,233
  • A pull-quote generation vehicle. To Wit.

Summary

  • 48% → trust will be strengthened
  • 28% → trust will stay the same
  • 24% → trust will be diminished

Scope

Six major themes on the future of trust in online interactions

Theme 1
Trust will strengthen because systems will improve and people will adapt to them and more broadly embrace them

  • Better technology plus regulatory and industry changes will help increase trust
  • The younger generation and people whose lives rely on technology the most are the vanguard of those who most actively use it, and these groups will grow larger
Theme 2
The nature of trust will become more fluid as technology embeds itself into human and organizational relationships

  • Trust will be dependent upon immediate context and applied differently in different circumstances
  • Trust is not binary or evenly distributed; there are different levels of it
Theme 3
Trust will not grow, but technology usage will continue to rise, as a “new normal” sets in

  • “The trust train has left the station”; sacrifices tied to trust are a “side effect of progress”
  • People often become attached to convenience and inured to risk
  • There will be no choice for users but to comply and hope for the best
Theme 4
Some say blockchain could help; some expect its value might be limited

  • Blockchain has potential to improve things
  • There are reasons to think blockchain might not be as disruptive and important as its advocates expect it to be
Theme 5
The less-than-satisfying current situation will not change much in the next decade
Theme 6
Trust will diminish because the internet is not secure, and powerful forces threaten individuals’ rights

  • Corporate and government interests are not motivated to improve trust or protect the public
  • Criminal exploits will diminish trust

Producers

Imagining The Internet (Center)
  • Pew Research Center
  • Elon University

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