Shift 2022: How Labels can contribute to Digital Responsibility

Nicolas Zahn • April 2022

At Shift 2022, the leading Swiss conference on digital ethics, the Swiss Digital Initiative had once again the opportunity to contribute through a Breakout-Session together with Swiss Insights to show the value of Labels in supporting organisations when implementing Digital Responsibility.

With growing awareness about the importance of Corporate Digital Responsibility, organisations are faced with the challenge of implementing and operationalising digital responsibility. At Shift 2022, the leading Swiss digital ethics conference, a Breakout session hosted by the Swiss Digital Initiative and Swiss Insights took an in-depth look at how Labels can help organisations with their Corporate Digital Responsibility ambitions.

Covering the whole life-cycle

Both organisations have developed Labels to address questions of digital ethics & responsibility and they nicely complement each other. The Data Fairness Label provides guidance in the development of digital services and in particular aspects related to collecting and analysing data sets.

The Digital Trust Label comes into play for auditing existing digital services but of course, both Labels hope to shape the further development of digital services towards more digital responsibility.

The use-case for Labels

Using the example of a digital account opening, Swiss Insights and SDI showed to participants the clear value of Labels as ethical questions could be raised during the development process: what data is collected? How is it being analysed, for what purposes, etc.? The Label Criteria Catalogue also helps the financial institution to ask the right questions once the product is live and it offers increased transparency for end-users.

Sarah Gädig, SDI Senior Project & Operations Manager presenting the Digital Trust Label

Getting Feedback from the Expert Community

Events such as the Shift Conference are a great opportunity not just to present our work but also to get valuable feedback from participating experts. The vivid discussion after the presentations showed the great interest and engagement of the community.

One feedback that SDI will be taking home is that the expectation management regarding the Digital Trust Label could be further improved. From the outside, the Label could be misunderstood as a “free pass” for a whole organisation when instead it only applies to specific digital services or even parts thereof.

Label just the start

As previously stated, the Digital Trust Label can be an important tool in helping organisations with the implementation of digital responsibility. To further improve and adjust the Label, we are looking for motivated experts to join our Label Expert Committee. Apply by 14 April here.

We are also conducting a research project with IMD Lausanne on pioneering companies that would like to share their success stories regarding digital responsibility. Please contact if you’d like to know more and participate.

Finally, Swiss Insights is also convening the community to discuss the Data Fairness Label and digital responsibility. A community meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 8 June from 16:00-17:30 at BSI Zürich. You can register via mail

The full presentation of the breakout session is available here.