Tech we trust

We define Tech We Trust as those technologies that are equitable and accessible, putting our autonomy, privacy and dignity first.

We use ‘tech’ broadly to include hardware and software, networks and devices, storing and retrieving and computing and sending data, sensing and interacting with the physical world.

In our section on trustworthiness, we note that trusting entails a belief that a person or thing worthy of trust ‘looks out’ for our best interests. Although we have learned to pick up and process signals from people regarding where best to place our trust, the same is not true for tech firms or the tech itself.

We look at the trustworthiness of tech in terms of equality, privacy, and decentralization.

While each and everyone of us is unique of course, we believe everyone should be treated equally in terms of status, rights, and opportunities. As we define it, Tech We Trust is designed with due respect for equity, whereas Tech We Can’t Trust may well contribute to inequity.

Privacy encompasses more valued aspects of our lives than many people typically consider at first. One thing is certain however, those who design and sell technological products and services appear at best to have had too little regard for the privacy implications of their efforts, and at worst every intention to ride roughshod over them.

Respect for privacy is core to Tech We Trust, and is clearly under attack by ‘Tech We Can’t Trust’.

Fewer and fewer but bigger and bigger companies are dominating the technological products and services in our lives. In many ways this has been beneficial – the rate of innovation and economies of scale for example – but at some point the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. We believe we are moving rapidly past that point.

Decentralization allows us to converse and cooperate with other people more directly, keeping our interactions, choices and movements private. We will still use familiar technologies such as our smartphones, but our data will no longer all go through the same few giants. Interestingly, it might be that the value of decentralization is only realised when many people express a preference for such services, in which case why would the first few make the jump? We explore this and more in our decentralization section.

People have different views about what tech they can trust today. Gathering our collective knowledge and capabilities, the Digital Life Collective will determine and articulate how to distinguish the trustworthy from the less so, and nurture more of it.

Members will have the earliest access to these technologies. Members will have the opportunity to connect with each other, and join active teams. Together we’ll debate some of the most critical opportunities and challenges facing our societies, and take collective action.

You can be a part of this. We need everyone to join us and learn how to work together as an adaptive network of members. We can’t do this without you. And of course … you’ll get to wear the t-shirt.

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