New article on the complex factors that shape public trust in data practices and data-driven systems
Robin Steedman, Helen Kennedy and Rhia Jones have published a second article based on their Signing In project. The article is set in a context in which trust in data practices and data-driven systems is widely seen as both important and elusive. Proposed solutions to the data trust deficit are often localised or individualised, focusing either on what institutions can do to increase user trust in their data practices or on data management models that empower the individual user, and scholarship on trust often focuses on typologies of trust.
The paper shifts the emphasis to those doing the trusting, presenting findings from empirical research which challenge the assumption that localised or individualised solutions can be effective. The findings presented in the paper also suggest that conceptualisations of trust in data practices need to account for the complex range of factors which come into play in relation to trust in data and so move beyond the production of typologies. The paper proposes the concept of ‘complex ecologies of trust’ as a way of addressing all of these issues.
Complex ecologies of trust in data practices and data-driven systems has been published in a special issue of Information, Communication and Society emerging from the 2019 Association of Internet Researchers conference, which focused on the theme Trust In The System.