Foundations and Trends® in Web Science > Vol 2 > Issue 4

The Trustworthy and Trusted Web

By Piotr Cofta,

Suggested Citation
Piotr Cofta (2011), "The Trustworthy and Trusted Web", Foundations and TrendsĀ® in Web Science: Vol. 2: No. 4, pp 243-381.

Publication Date: 26 Nov 2011
© 2011 P. Cofta
Trust and Provenance,  E-Crime

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In this article:
1 Introduction 
2 Research Overview 
3 Introduction to Systemic Analysis 
4 Can 'Trustworthiness' Apply to Infrastructure? 
5 Trust and Trustworthiness 
6 Re-visiting the Views on Trustworthiness and Trust 
7 Systemic Trustworthiness 
8 Temporal Aspects of Trustworthiness 
9 Conclusions 


Considering the recognised importance of a trustworthyWeb and trustworthy ICT infrastructure, it is surprising that there is not a single agreed approach to how to actually develop them, or what are the desired properties of it. We are not even certain whether an inanimate infrastructure can be considered trustworthy at all. If the truly trustworthy Web is ever going to happen, this deficiency has to be addressed. This monograph analyses the concept of 'trustworthy ICT' from the dual perspective of its technical architecture and from the sociological perspective of a systemic creation of social reality. It aims to determine whether a single notion of trustworthiness can be agreed upon and whether the disparate collection of existing views can be consolidated into useful design criteria.

Against this systemic background, this monograph reveals the structure behind conflicts and misunderstandings of our modern perception of the trustworthiness of ICT. It defines seven views on trustworthiness and demonstrates that six of them can be used to structure not only research but also market practices. The monograph then postulates that the shared future of truly trustworthy Web (and any other trustworthy ICT infrastructure) is in the seventh view, in the systemic trustworthiness, and indicates required design properties of such a construct. This reasoning is then applied to the Web, with a specific focus on Semantic Web.

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Table of contents:
1: Introduction
2: Research overview
3: Introduction to systemic analysis
4: Can 'Trustworthiness' Apply to Infrastructure?
5: Trust and Trustworthiness
6: Re-visiting the views on trustworthiness and trust
7: Systemic trustworthiness
8: Temporal aspects of trustworthiness
9: Conclusions
Appendix A: Case Studies

The Trustworthy and Trusted Web

The existence of large information and communication technology (ICT) structures, such as the Internet and the Web, and their impact on our everyday lives is an unquestionable fact of modern life. Trust and trustworthiness of such systems is often taken for granted, and accepted as a solution to all the ills of our society, duly replicated on the Web. However, there is no agreement on how to develop trustworthy systems. There is even no agreement on what 'trustworthy Web' may actually mean. The Trustworthy and Trusted Web is a thorough investigation of the complex question of trustworthy ICT. It analyses this concept from the dual perspectives of the technical architecture and the sociological angle of the creation of social reality. It addresses conditions to discuss trustworthiness of ICT, discussing whether a single notion of trustworthiness can be agreed upon and whether it will generate useful design criteria for trustworthy ICT. Against the background defined by theories of social systems, The Trustworthy and Trusted Web reveals the structure behind conflicts and misunderstandings of our modern perception of the trustworthiness of ICT. It proposes a systemic approach that should bring trustworthy ICT, trustworthy Web and trustworthy Semantic Web closer to everyday reality. The Trustworthy and Trusted Web is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in learning about, analysing, designing or implementing trustworthy IC, and specifically trustworthy Web. It is comprehensive and informative in analysing the current situation while being prescriptive and visionary in proposed solutions.