What Is Digital Trust and Why Does It Matter for Business?

April 24, 2023

Technology Trends

what is digital trust

Imagine customers are shopping in your retail store and they receive a notification on their smartphone that says: “Welcome to our store! Here’s a 10% off coupon for your purchase today.” But they’re not sure if it’s a scam, so they hesitate to use it. That’s where digital trust comes in. If a business has a strong digital trust foundation, customers will feel safe using things such as digital coupons. 

Digital trust is crucial in today’s digital world for businesses to succeed. It’s not just about having a secure website or app, it’s about being trustworthy, transparent, and providing a great customer experience. When customers trust a business, they’re more likely to keep using it and recommend it to others. 

During the pandemic, digital trust became even more important as people began to rely more on online services. Businesses that don’t establish digital trust risk losing customers and missing out on growth opportunities.

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How Can We Define Digital Trust?

According to the World Economic Forum, digital trust is defined as: “individuals’ expectation that digital technologies and services – and the organizations providing them – will protect all stakeholders’ interests and uphold societal expectations and values.” 

More specifically, digital trust involves establishing a strong online reputation, building credibility and transparency, and providing an exceptional customer experience. This includes implementing security measures to protect against cyber threats, being transparent about how customer data is collected and used, and ensuring that all online interactions are seamless and frictionless.

It’s important to understand that digital trust goes beyond just the digital realm and also encompasses the physical world. For instance, when a customer places an order online, they anticipate timely and secure delivery of their product. However, if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all, the customer’s trust in the business may diminish. Similarly, if a mall, stadium, or museum offers a navigation app to assist visitors with navigating their space, but the app is inaccurate or unreliable, it can cast doubt on the business as a whole in the eyes of the consumer.

The Four Paragons of Digital Trust

Security: Security is a fundamental component of digital trust. Customers need to know that their personal information is safe and secure when they interact with a business online. This means implementing strong security measures to protect against cyber threats, using encryption to safeguard sensitive data, and ensuring that all data is stored securely.

Transparency: Transparency is also essential to digital trust. Customers want to know how their personal data is being collected, stored, and used. Businesses must be transparent about their data collection practices and provide clear and concise privacy policies that outline how customer data will be used.

Reliability: Reliability is another key component of digital trust. Customers want to know that they can rely on a business to deliver on its promises. This means providing accurate product information, delivering products and services on time, and providing excellent customer service.

User Experience: Customers expect a seamless and frictionless experience when they interact with a business online. This means providing a user-friendly website or mobile app, ensuring that pages load quickly, and making it easy for customers to complete transactions.

How Can Digital Trust Help Businesses Succeed?

Managing a business that needs to regularly gather and analyze information about customers is a challenging task. With every interaction and touchpoint, customers may wonder about the safety and security of their personal information. This is where digital trust becomes the foundation of a lasting and meaningful relationship between businesses and customers. How exactly?

Impact of Digital Trust on Customer Behaviour

When customers trust a business, they feel more comfortable sharing their personal information and making purchases online. This trust can be inspired by a business’s strong data protection measures, which make customers more likely to engage with digital marketing and personalized services. Overall, digital trust plays a significant role in shaping consumer behavior, including their willingness to share information and make online purchases.

The Impact of Digital Trust on Brand Reputation

A business’s reputation is incredibly important, and digital trust can affect how people view a brand. If a business has a data breach or other security problem, it can harm the brand’s reputation and make customers less likely to trust it. But if a business prioritizes digital trust and takes strong security measures, it can enhance its reputation and become known as a reliable and trustworthy provider.

The Relationship Between Digital Trust and Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty is crucial for long-term business success, and digital trust is a key component of building and maintaining that loyalty. When customers trust a business to handle their personal data responsibly and prioritize their privacy, they are more likely to remain loyal to that business over time. By demonstrating a commitment to digital trust, businesses can establish themselves as reliable partners, strengthening the bond with customers and increasing repeat business. 

How to Build Digital Trust

Below are five digital trust strategies to create transparency, privacy, and security:

Implement AI-based monitoring of data

Use AI algorithms to validate data accuracy, authenticity, and reliability in real-time, while detecting missing or unexpected data. This will ensure that data is used as intended and help safeguard trust.

Leverage data trusts

Use data trusts to manage data for others, operating as a trusted third party that validates, controls, and secures data while managing legal data rights on behalf of its beneficiaries. This will enhance digital trust while making data management and sharing more trusted and easier.

Explore the potential of blockchain

Use blockchain as an enabler of digital trust, applying it for digital fingerprinting, identity, assets, and smart contracts. To overcome technological constraints and ensure trust, use quantum-resistant encryption techniques and maintain crypto-agility.

Build customer trust

Communicate transparently with customers about how their data is being managed, who is managing it, and how it is being used. Engage customers in the process and be careful in selecting third-party operators for data trusts.

Invest in talent and infrastructure

Invest in talent to develop and implement digital-first strategies, such as AI-based monitoring and blockchain-enabled trust mechanisms. Additionally, invest in infrastructure to ensure that your organization has the necessary technology and systems to maintain digital trust. 

Digital Trust in Action: Lessons Learned from Successful Brands

Amazon: Amazon has successfully built digital trust by implementing a strong security infrastructure and investing in customer data privacy. They use advanced encryption technologies to protect customer data and implement multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, they communicate transparently with customers about their data policies and provide easy-to-use privacy controls.

Lesson learned: Invest in advanced security measures and be transparent with customers about data policies and privacy controls.

Airbnb: Airbnb has built digital trust by implementing a review and rating system that allows guests and hosts to provide feedback on each other. This system ensures that hosts are reputable and that guests have a positive experience. Additionally, they provide 24/7 customer support and have a secure payment system that protects users from fraud.

Lesson learned: Implement a reputation-based system that allows users to provide feedback and invest in strong customer support and payment systems.

Microsoft: Microsoft has built digital trust by implementing a strong security infrastructure and being transparent about data policies. They use advanced encryption technologies to protect customer data and provide transparency reports that detail government requests for user data.

Lesson learned: Invest in advanced security measures and communicate transparently about data policies and government requests for user data.

Slack: Slack has built digital trust by providing end-to-end encryption for all communications and being transparent about data policies. They also have a vulnerability disclosure program that allows researchers to report security vulnerabilities without fear of legal action.

Lesson learned: Implement end-to-end encryption for all communications and have a vulnerability disclosure program that encourages researchers to report security vulnerabilities.

How Can Mapsted Technology Help Establish Digital Trust?

Mapsted’s world-leading location technology uses innovative self-learning algorithms to provide indoor and outdoor positioning technology using smartphones. Mapsted technology collects signals such as GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, accelerometer, and others to determine location but does not use this information to identify individuals, thereby protecting privacy. When customers use our location-based services, Mapsted may provide them with relevant content including location-based advertising. We may also collect other information in accordance with ethical data collection and usage policies. This ensures that when businesses use Mapsted’s patent-protected, hardware-free,  location-based technology they will not jeopardize relationships with customers and can build digital trust. Mapsted technology is also hardware-free, reliable even in dead zones, and offers one-meter precision blue-dot navigation. 


Digital trust is a crucial aspect of modern businesses to establish a strong foundation of trust and ensure that customers feel confident in interacting and transacting with a business via technology. The four pillars of digital trust are security, transparency, reliability, and user experience, and businesses must prioritize them to enhance their digital reputation and build long-term customer loyalty. Digital trust also has a significant impact on customer behavior, brand reputation, and customer loyalty. Therefore, businesses must invest in robust security measures and transparent data collection and usage policies to ensure that customer data is protected and privacy is maintained. Finally, businesses should leverage technologies like AI and data trust to monitor data accuracy and improve data security and control while managing legal data rights. To learn more about using location technology to provide your customers with reassurance and reach your business goals, you may be interested in Mapsted functionality such as anonymous in-app location-sharing, and seamless, highly accurate indoor navigation services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is digital trust and why is it important?

Ans. Digital trust refers to the level of confidence that individuals and businesses have in the security, privacy, and reliability of digital transactions and interactions. It is important for businesses because it helps to build customer loyalty and drive revenue growth.

Q2. What are some features of digital trust?

Ans. Digital trust is built on several key features, including transparency, security, reliability, privacy, and accountability. These features help to establish trust between businesses and their customers and ensure that digital transactions are conducted safely and securely.

Q3. How can businesses build digital trust?

Ans. Businesses can build digital trust by implementing strong security and privacy measures, being transparent about their data practices, providing reliable and consistent services, and being accountable for their actions. This can be done through clear and concise communication with customers, regular testing and auditing of systems, and adhering to industry standards and best practices.

Q4. How does digital trust work?

Ans. Digital trust involves creating a secure and dependable digital space for transactions and interactions. It includes strong security measures, data protection, reliable services, and accountability. Building trust leads to long-term relationships, increased revenue, and growth.

Q5. What are the pillars of digital trust?

Ans. The pillars of digital trust are security, privacy, reliability, transparency, and accountability. These pillars help businesses establish trust with customers and conduct safe transactions, leading to customer loyalty and revenue growth.

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