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About the Digital Trust Label

We believe that trust, transparency and technology belong together. But as digitalization accelerates, it is getting more and more difficult to understand what’s happening with your data. Algorithms and other digital tools operate in the background and can leave you feeling insecure when using digital services.

With the Digital Trust Label, we’re putting trust and transparency back into tech. Created in Switzerland, the Digital Trust Label is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

We want to empower users everywhere to feel safe and secure when they use digital services. And we want to give organizations a way to convey their commitment to credibility. With an intuitive, streamlined layout and plain, jargon-free language, the Digital Trust Label builds confidence by increasing transparency where it matters. It means we all benefit from the advantages of technological advances – now and in the future.

Security

Can I count on a certain standard of security?

Data Protection

How is your data protected?

Reliability

How reliable is the service delivery?

Fair User Interaction

Is an automated decision-making mechanism involved?

Why
digital trust matters

Whether in our personal or professional life, we look for trust to feel at ease and engage with others easily. The same applies to the digital world. Growing complexity and opaqueness, coupled with various scandals around data breaches and discrimination by algorithmic systems, are fueling mistrust in digital services. Now is the time to establish digital trust through more transparency and better information and harness the beneficial potential of digital technologies for our societies.

 

The Swiss Digital Initiative believes that the Digital Trust Label makes an important contribution toward building digital trust. At the same time, we understand that trust is a complex concept and cannot be solely addressed through the label. Instead, we envision a comprehensive view and have outlined our vision and ideas in the Digital Trust Framework that features in our Digital Trust Whitepaper.

Download Whitepaper

We have also created a report mapping the growing Digital Trust Ecosystem and provide an interactive resource that is regularly updated by us:

Digital Trust Ecosystem

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Benefits for Users

We want to empower users everywhere to feel safe and secure when they use digital services (please also see our clarification here).

Whenever you see the Digital Trust Label, you can expect:

More transparency and information

Transparent information tells you how a digital service is, for example, handling your user information. You’ll also be informed whether the digital service relies on an automated decision-making mechanism, enabling you to better understand the potential impacts of that digital service.

Reduced complexity

You will receive relevant information about technology and digital services in plain English, free of technical jargon and corporate speak. The intuitive, streamlined layout makes it easy to access relevant information at a glance.

Empowered decision-making

The Digital Trust Label empowers you with the knowledge and confidence to make informed choices about the digital services you want to use. It means you’re in control of assessing the trustworthiness of digital services you use.

Benefits for Organisations

The Digital Trust Label gives organizations a way to convey their commitment to credibility (please also see our clarification here). Get certified and start building trust in your digital services today. Benefits include:

Better regulatory compliance

The regulatory landscape for digital technologies is rapidly evolving – but not always in a coordinated and clear way. This can leave companies struggling to conduct business in compliance with complex new rules. Certification based on a solid assessment can help companies navigate new and shifting regulatory landscapes.

Response to growing user demands

Organizations using the Digital Trust Label signal their understanding that trust must be earned as technology, consumer expectations and business opportunities evolve. The Digital Trust Label puts the user at the heart of the experience.

Competitive advantage through credible trustworthiness

By signing up for the Digital Trust Label, you agree to an audit as part of the certification process. This sends a strong signal to your users about the trustworthiness of your digital services. The Digital Trust Label makes digital services comparable and enables organizations to aspire to achieve an ambitious rating, leading to a competitive advantage.

History and development of the Label

Digital Trust cannot be defined by one actor alone, but can only be the result of the close collaboration of all relevant actors: academia, civil society, consumer protection, the private and public sector. This is why the SDI involved all relevant stakeholders in the development and made the criteria and development process as transparent as possible.

The Label is understood as an ongoing and collaborative effort to strengthen trust in a digital service through increased understanding and transparency. While other organizations around the globe are pursuing similar initiatives, SDI and its Digital Trust Label are the most developed initiative from 50+ similar initiatives worldwide as a study revealed.

Label Expert Committee

  • Challenge & Develop Criteria Catalogue
  • Include feedback and foster dialogue
  • Provide recommendations on adjustments

Label Certification Committee

  • Expert review of Audit Reports as additional layer
  • Recommendation on awarding the Label based on Audit

Credible Governance for a credible Label

The Label development is an iterative process, hence, it will be continuously developed. In early 2022, the Swiss Digital Initiative released a first version of the Label focussing on whether a digital service meets our mandatory criteria or not. Building on this version, initial experience will be gathered and the label will then be further developed and expanded. The Digital Trust Label is governed by two principal governance bodies: the Label Expert Committee (LEC) & the Label Certification Committee (LCC)

The further development and improvement of the Label is led by the Label Expert Committee (LEC). The LEC is dedicated to working on the label catalogue criteria and formulates label recommendations to the SDI Board.  The LEC brings together representatives from Civil Society & Consumer Protection, Public Sector & IOs, Technical & Academic experts and the Private Sector as well as experts with proven know-how and expertise in the dimensions of the Label: Data Privacy, IT Security, Service Reliability and Fair user Interaction.
The experts meet regularly, collect feedback throughout the year and draft recommendations for possible adjustments to the Label. Are additional criteria needed to reflect new technological realities? Do existing criteria need to be reformulated based on feedback from users and auditors? All experts involved in the LEC discuss the Label not in relation to any audits but focus on the abstract questions of how to create an ideal Label for digital trust.

The LEC’s work was coordinated by the EPFL Center for Digital Trust (C4DT) until 2022. We thank the members of the first LEC for their valuable inputs and their efforts in making the Digital Trust Label a reality.

Members of the LEC 2019 – 2022

 

Members of the Label Expert Committee

Civil Society & Consumer Protection:

Nikki Böhler, Director, Opendata.ch

Rodolphe Koller, Editor in Chief, ICTjournal

Leilaa Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative, NetHope

Business:

Maximilian Groth, Co-Founder & CEO, Decentriq

Mitchell Scherr, CEO, Assured Cyber Protection

Sophia Ding, Managing Consultant, Head Trustworthy AI & Responsible Tech, AWK Group

Public Sector, IOs, legal community:

Martin Steiger, Partner Steiger Legal, Co-Founder Datenschutzpartner 

Charlotte van Ooijen, Associate Director Digital Government and Data, The Lisbon Council for Economic Competitiveness and Social Renewal

Tuulia Timonen, Head of PSC Service Excellence, Posti Group

Technical Expert / Academia:

Patrick Schaller, Senior Scientist System Security, ETHZ

Diego Kuonen, CEO, Statoo Consulting & Professor Data Science, University of Geneva

Marcel Blattner, Principal Data Scientist and Team Leader, ETH Swiss Data Science Center

Manouchehr Shamsrizi, Co-Founder, gamelab.berlin Humboldt-Universität’s Cluster of Excellence and Co-Founder RetroBrain R&D

Michael Kende, Senior Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at the Geneva Graduate Institute, and a Senior Advisor at Analysys Mason

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Members of the Label Certification Committee

Deepak Bansal, Director, Meaning Quotient GmbH

Dr. Nitin Kumar, Data Consulting Partner, Meaning Quotient GmbH

Philippe Schwab, Information and Security Specialist, Federal Data Protection and Information Commisssioner (FDPIC)

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About the Swiss Digital Initiative

The Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) is an independent, non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva and set up in 2020 by the association digitalswitzerland and under the patronage of Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer. The SDI pursues concrete projects with the aim of safeguarding ethical standards and promoting responsible behavior in the digital world. The initiative is guided by its conviction that the time has come to focus on implementation of common values and principles, as emphasized, for example, by the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Accordingly, the SDI aims to enhance the impact of existing initiatives and become a global pacesetter for the creation of implementation-oriented instruments and mechanisms. The SDI believes that the ethical challenges of digitalization must be tackled together with the various stakeholders from the private and public sectors as well as civil society.

Swiss roots, global reach
The SDI’s location in Geneva is no coincidence. The SDI is very much Swiss at heart and embodies many of the Swiss qualities of security, reliability and trust. At the same time, we recognize that the issue of digital ethics and trust is a global one. With this in mind, we believe our location in international Geneva puts us in a great starting position to combine Swiss values and perspectives with a global debate and international impact.

Visit the SDI website to find out more.