Swiss Digital Initiative unveils the Digital Trust Label Seal

Sarah Gädig • October 2021

The Swiss Digital Initiative is developing the world’s first Label to test and certify the trustworthiness of digital services. For the first time, SDI is now presenting the Digital Trust Label seal. From 2022, the Digital Trust Label will enable users to recognise trustworthy digital services at a glance.

From now on, interested companies can register and be among the first whose digital services will be certified with the Digital Trust Label. To place the Label in the broader context of Digital Trust, the Swiss Digital Initiative is publishing a whitepaper with a holistic vision for trust in the digital world.

Data leaks, cyberattacks, unethical business practices by tech companies: the headlines just don’t stop. Users feel insecure when dealing with digital services. How is my data being handled? Are automated decisions being made behind my back? Transparency is lacking and there are no easy ways to get information. Pragmatic and practical solutions are needed.

The Digital Trust Label signals trustworthiness – at a glance

The Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) offers a solution with the world’s first Digital Trust Label. In clear, understandable language, the Label shows the trustworthiness of a digital service. Compliance with standards is checked in four categories and creates trust among users thanks to transparency and reduced complexity. With the Label, digital services are tested based on more than 30 criteria. The criteria catalogue was created under the leadership of École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a dedicated Label Expert Committee, further developed thanks to feedback from public consultations and allows for independent auditing and certification.

“Similar to the organic label and 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.

The Label focuses on the users of digital services and highlights the dimensions of security, data protection, reliability, and user interaction. With its multi-level approach, it shows relevant information at first glance but also offers more details to interested persons.

Companies can send a clear signal

Thanks to the Digital Trust Label, anyone offering a digital service has the opportunity for the first time to have this service verified by a neutral body. Successful certification sends a clear signal to users that an organisation is serious about digital trust. Such a signal is not only effective towards users, but also provides guidance to organisations in a rapidly changing regulatory environment. Registration for certification is now open to all organisations.

Digital Trust pioneers are, Swisscom, and Swiss Re. They were involved in the development of the Label and are currently having selected digital services certified. AXA, Credit Suisse, the Canton Vaud and IBM Switzerland were also involved as development partners. The project was made possible thanks to the support of the Mercator Foundation Switzerland.

Which industries need to pay particular attention and ways towards digital trust?

Together with the presentation of the Digital Trust Label, the first whitepaper on Digital Trust is published. It defines the broader framework within which Digital Trust can be discussed. At the same time, it identifies industries that will have to invest more in digital trust in the future. These are the healthcare sector, the public sector, the media sector, banking and insurance, HR, and the education sector. Finally, ways are shown how Digital Trust can be achieved among users. Transparency is the first step and with the Digital Trust Label this is now better possible for companies than before.

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