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Digital Trust is here - Are You Ready?


The Digital Trust is easier to understand after a quick analysis. Let's split it into two parts, firstly is the digital and secondly the trust. The latter is adding a new concept to the Information management (IM) and information technology (IT).

In fact the Information technology is just a part of the Information Management.

The five Information Management.keys

  • Leadership – engaged, set the vision/strategy, make key decisions

  • Operations – people, project management, communications

  • Processes – design, document, execute

  • Data – collect, organise, maintain, use

  • Technology – aligned to the prior four keys above

Digital Trust playground

In this blog we skip the Security and Privacy, and focus solely on the Accountability.

Digital Trust in detail

Definition of Digital by the Cambridge Dictionary:
The word digital is an adjective describing recording or storing information as a series of the numbers 1 and 0. 
In the context of Digital Trust the word digital defines that the trust is about recording or storing information.

Mastercard defined this framework of the Digital Trust based on a global study made by The Fletcher School at Tufts University (DEI 2017).

Mastercard defined this framework of the Digital Trust based on a global study
Trust by Mastercard

Based on Mastercard's framework it is obvious that the ICT industry and (cyber)security-seeking customers needs to focus on three main digitalisation components, namely to Security, Privacy and Accountability.

Definition of Accountability by the Cambridge Dictionary: 
In the Business English accountability is  "a situation in which someone is responsible for things that happen and can give a satisfactory reason for them".

Accountability is an element of a RASCI*) to indicate who is ultimately answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task, and the one who delegates the work to those responsible.

*) RASCI, is an abbreviation of responsibility, accountability, support, consulted, informed, and quality. Sometimes is used RACI or RASIQ, in the latter Q is for quality..

Let's split Accountability to pieces and reassemble the pieces together to get deeper understanding to this topic.

Definition: Accountability (of Trust) is:
In ethics and governance, accountability is answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving*)

*) Dykstra, Clarence A. (February 1938). "The Quest for Responsibility". American Political Science Review

Take away:

Accountability cannot exist without proper accounting*).

*) Accounting here is accounting of actions, outcome etc. in fact accounting. See definition below.

Definition of Accounting by Merriam-Webster Dictionary: 
Accounting is the system of recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results

This definition above states that there are two kind of transactions in accounting, namely

  • business, and

  • financial

The business transaction (decisions, agreements, etc) are the actions that create the financial gains and losses.

But this is not the whole picture! There are also - known and unknown - incidents and anomalies. Some of them are called "realised risks", others "cybercrime" etc.

In fact there is a hidden link between a business transaction and financial transaction. Often this missing information, it that has not been recorded. Sometimes you would like to have that ephemeral information along the information you already have.. That missing information could explain what has happened, why and by whom.

As we have now learned in the governance the accountability of the Digital Trust is answerability, blameworthiness, liability, and the expectation of account-giving what comes to recording or storing information. An all IT is about recording and storing information to be "computed" and "consumed" by users. And the Digital Trust is the key concept to professional information handling.

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