Trust on the line: A philosophical exploration of trust in the networked era

Research output: Book/ReportBookScientific


Governments, companies, and citizens all think trust is important. Especially today, in the networked era, where we make use of all sorts of e-services and increasingly interact and buy online, trust has become a necessary condition for society to thrive. But what do we mean when we talk about trust and how does the rise of the Internet transform the functioning of trust? This books starts off with a thorough conceptual analysis of trust, drawing on insights from - amongst others philosophy and sociology - to sharpen our understanding of the topic. The book explains how the arrival of large systems - such as the internet - has changed the character of trust which today is no longer based on interpersonal interactions but has become completely mediated by technologies. Based on the layered building plan of the Internet itself, a new conceptual lens called 4 Cs is developed to analyse and understand trust in the networked era. The 4Cs refer to the 4 layers which all have to be taken into account to assess trust online, namely: context,code, codification, and curation. The 4cs bring together the firsthand experiences of the user (context), the sort of technology that is being used (code), the legal implication (codification) and business interests (curation) in order to get a clear picture of the trust issues that may arise. In the final part of the book some real-life cases are discussed (digital hotel keys, Airbnb, online personalization) to illustrate how trust -analysed through the 4 Cs lens- might flourish or be challenged in our current networked era
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWolf Productions
ISBN (Print)9789462403338
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Netzwerk
  • Zwischenmenschliche Beziehung
  • Philosophie
  • Vertrauen


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