User Trust of a Web Site

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Full Definition or Meme

User's trust of the internet as a whole is deterred primarily by the User Experience on the majority of Web Sites they use.

Context

Trust for a Web Site may take (at least) two different forms:

  1. Trust that the Web Site contents is the Truth.
  2. Trust that the Web Site owner and guarantor is exactly the real-world entity that we expect it to be.

For the former case we find that each Web Site creates and enforces its own Ethics as the see fit. As a result the each web site has its own view of the Truth value of its contents. Unfortunately it is not made clear to the user what each Web Site expects of its own content. For example many Web Sites started to purge their sites of false statements that were considered to cause harm to some set of people in the real-world. In the case of deliberate lies about the Holocaust, or the Sandy Hook slaughter, the majority of Web Sites stopped postings that were illegal in some countries (the Holocaust) or caused harm to some set of people (the surviving parents of Sandy Hook victims). But others, like WordPress blogging platforms deliberately took a hands-off approach.[1] The User is left with little to guide them in determining the trustworthiness of the contents of the site.

In the later case there is one existing solution, the Web Site can purchase an EV Cert for a modest fee that will guarantee some identity proofing of the business that owns the site. Some have pointed out that this proofing is inadequate, and federations of similar Enterprises have banded together to create a central repository which will vouch for the site's Compliance with the Federation's policies. For example the Trust Management policies that are enabled with the SAML II Shibboleth Concepts. This is further expanded on the wiki page Federated Trust.

User Experience

The NASCAR problem is a reference to the jumble of branding icons on websites, e.g. 3rd party sign-in/login options or sharing buttons. It is dubbed the NASCAR problem because of these clusters of 3rd party icons/brands on websites resembles the collages of sponsorship decals covering NASCAR racing cars. It's a problem because such clusters of icons/brands cause both visual noise and people to be confused (see Paradox of choice), overwhelmed or unlikely to remember individual icons, especially as the clusters seem to grow with the introduction of new 3rd party identity/profile/social sites and services.

Protection of User Authenticators

Aka Credentials

References

  1. Sapna Maheshwari +1, Sandy Hook Father Combats Lies, and a Blog Sites Policy. (2018-08-14) New York Times p. B1