Trustworthy tech companies: Talking the talk or walking the walk?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


While people are increasingly dependent on tech companies to live a flourishing life, numerous incidents reveal that these companies struggle with genuinely taking the interests of customers to heart. Regulators and companies alike acknowledge that this should change and that companies must take responsibility for their impact. If society is to benefit from these innovations, it is paramount that tech companies are trustworthy. However, it is unclear what is required of tech companies to be recognized as trustworthy. This vagueness is risky, as it may lead to ethics washing and an ill-founded sense of security. This raises the question: what should tech companies do to deserve our trust? What would make them trustworthy? This article critically analyzes the philosophical debate on trustworthiness to develop a trustworthiness account for tech companies. It concludes that for tech companies to be trustworthy they need to actively signal their trustworthiness through the design of their applications (1), nurture techno-moral competences and practical wisdom in tech employees (2) and go beyond legal compliance (3).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalAI and Ethics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2023


  • Data ethics
  • AI Ethics
  • trust
  • trustworthiness
  • tech companies
  • responsibilty


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