Digital Trust Label: Updates and Learnings

Nicolas Zahn • June 2021

Following our commitment to transparent communication, we would like to share updates on our work and learnings with you. Please find below our recent activities and insights.

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 involves all relevant stakeholders in the development, e.g. through public consultations.

Gathering feedback through public consultations

We have recently conducted a second public consultation (full report available here).

We would like to thank all participants as we again received valuable feedback that will further help us to ensure an impactful Digital Trust Label.

The participants raised important questions about the Digital Trust Label’s approach and processes that we will incorporate into the further development and the operationalization of the label.

Acknowledging the ambitious task

Not only by soliciting the feedback from multiple stakeholders but also by conducting our own research on the Digital Trust Ecosystem (see our full report here) it has become very clear that creating a Digital Trust Label that lives up to it’s ambition is no simple feat but a complex process involving multiple stakeholders and raising questions from marketing and legal concerns to philosophy and computer science.

We acknowledge this complexity and are all the more dedicated to working on the Digital Trust Label as one way to advance trust in digital services and contribute to bringing ethical principles and values into technologies through concrete projects.

Bringing like-minded initiatives together

In addition to the above-mentioned report on the Digital Trust Ecosystem, the Swiss Digital Initiative brought together like-minded organizations for the first time to discuss the state of the ecosystem and to brainstorm how to foster more collaboration on the work on certifications and labels.

Feedback from participants of the event highlighted the importance of shining a light on the Digital Trust Ecosystem as our report did. Consequently, in order to advance initiatives on digital trust, the Swiss Digital Initiative offers a space for continued exchange between like-minded initiatives.

Iterative approach for the Digital Trust Label

As a consequence of the complexity of the idea and the feedback from the public consultations, we have opted for an iterative approach to the development and operationalization of the Digital Trust Label.

The first milestone is the development of a minimum viable product (MVP) we call the Version 0 of the Digital Trust Label. To this end, we are conducting pre-audits with our auditor SGS and some of our test partners.

As a result of these pre-audits, the test partners will receive an official audit report; however no audit certificate and label will be awarded as we are operating in an “auditing-test-environment”.

The pre-audits will reveal crucial information and hard facts about the current label set-up. These findings will be incorporated to further develop and define the label which will result in Version 1.

With Version 1 DTL, our test partners have the opportunity – upon a successful audit – to be awarded with the Digital Trust Label and become our Trust Champions: the first awarded digital services providers in Switzerland!

The findings from conducting the official audits will again be incorporated to further develop and refine the label which will result in Version 2 DTL. With Version 2 DTL, the label will be open to all interested digital services providers.

Feel free to get in touch with us to learn more!