Updating the Digital Trust Label for AI

Nicolas Zahn 14.05.2024

Bildschirmfoto 2024 05 08 Um 19.35.50

The first tool supporting organisations in implementing Artificial intelligence (AI) in a trustworthy and responsible way is launched in Switzerland. The Digital Trust Label (DTL) is a response to growing user mistrust and mounting regulatory activity. Today, the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) and its partners break new ground  by expanding the DTL to AI.

The Digital Trust Label (DTL) was launched in January 2022 to promote trust and transparency in digital services. Building on this mission, the Criteria Catalogue used for the audit behind the DTL has now been extended to better include AI through an extensive and collaborative process with co-development partners and the Digital Trust Expert Group.

“Analogous to an organic label or a nutritional value table, the Digital Trust Label acts as a seal of trust for the digital world,” explains Doris Leuthard, President of the SDI Foundation Board. “With this updated Criteria Catalogue, the DTL is now AI ready and closing the current gap between increased demand for AI and evolving regulation. The DTL allows companies to move ahead with deploying AI in a trustworthy way.” 

The updated Criteria Catalogue not only serves as the basis for the DTL audits but also provides guidance to organisations interested in benefiting from the potential of AI in a responsible and trustworthy way while safeguarding end-users of AI-enabled digital services. As the field of AI evolves further, SDI will also be launching additional guidance publications.

This achievement solidifies the DTL as a unique tool for digital service providers to maintain and build user trust also when implementing in particular Generative AI (GenAI). With growing regulatory activity around the world and a proliferation of principles, the DTL remains unique by operationalizing abstract values and principles into a verifiable auditing scheme. While regulations and standards are catching up, the DTL offers a solution that increases transparency for end-users of digital services already today.

Harnessing the potential of AI requires Digital Trust

SDI was founded to work on Digital Trust already in 2020 and the importance of the topic is constantly increasing with new AI applications being launched daily. Questions around the trustworthiness of AI systems and the integrity of data inputs and outputs is slowing down adoption through lack of trust from users and businesses alike. 

Building on the proven Criteria Catalogue of the DTL, the additional criteria specifically address the trust issues raised by AI and GenAI. Along the existing DTL dimensions – security, data protection, reliability, and fair user interaction – the AI-specific criteria states e.g. information and transparency duties towards end-users, procedures for risk management, addresses bias in algorithmic systems and ethical considerations regarding training data.  

A practical and pragmatic solution in a time of uncertainty

Since the beginning of the Swiss Digital Initiative, the non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva has worked on putting ethical principles into practice and has brought together experts, practitioners, and digital service providers in a collaborative process. The Digital Trust Label is the result of this process and unique by putting the end-user of digital service at the centre and providing a tool to digital service providers to clearly communicate their adherence to trustworthy practices.

Any organisation globally offering digital solutions to end users is invited to go through the new DTL Criteria Catalogue to learn more about what trustworthiness from a user perspective means and to have their digital services audited. Organisations having already received the DTL for a digital service include Cisco, Credit Exchange, Julius Baer, Kudelski IoT, OneLog, PeopleWeek, Swisscom, Swiss Post, Swiss Re, Tresorit UNICEF and Wefox. The DTL as a working auditing scheme can also be licensed, providing an interesting opportunity for companies looking to certify the trustworthiness of digital services.   


DTL Criteria Catalogue