Technology’s Roadmap to Public Trust

Consumers’ faith in the tech industry — which has dominated consumer trust since at least 2000 —has dropped for two years straight, even as adoption of technology has accelerated.

In the United States, where technology once held the top spot among trusted sectors, it fell from ranking 10 to barely cracking the top 20. However, there are a number of reasons why things are what they are. In the end, it all boils down to the fact that technology is present in all aspects of our lives.

Tech firms are entrenched in extremely high-stakes personal and social challenges, including climate change, human rights, privacy, anti-trust litigation, and the propagation of misinformation.

The loss of confidence isn’t something that companies can simply fix on their own. We must be willing to change our values and responsibilities in order to regain the trust advantage for the tech sector.

Transparency is now a new concept.

We’re used to placing complicated systems behind user-friendly interfaces in the world of technology. However, data security, privacy, and tracking are now forcing us to expose users to what’s going on under the hood.

Similarly, we can enhance consumers’ decision-making capabilities by combining transparency and education.

We need to get data information out of the small print and into clear language so that customers have a clear picture of how their information is being utilized to improve their experience as well as how it is secured.

We also understand that people are increasingly concerned about the social, environmental, and political ramifications of their purchase choices.

Reversing the loss of trust isn’t simply a matter of regaining their confidence in the quality and safety of the technology products and services they use. The trust of the public in the broader technology sector has been eroded.

Because every other sector must be honest about its wider ramifications, from supply chains to labor practices to corporate governance, tech also needs to do so. In fact, because of people’s perceptions of how important the industry is, this is even more essential in tech.

Increasing access to technology in developing nations

The tech sector once hoped that our inventions would simply lift everyone’s living standards. Innovation, on its own, will only take us so far. Inequitable access has the potential to transform innovation into a sign of inequality.

Take into account the many video conferences we’ve become reliant on for business continuity over the last 18 months. In numerous communities across the world where the internet is accessible, high-quality devices and sufficient network strength for video conferencing are still unavailable or uncommon.

Digital technology has gotten more powerful, which has exacerbated economic, political, and social disparity. Even with an increasing number of low-cost devices and platforms, the digital divide is widening.

It’s critical that technology businesses be at the forefront of efforts to close the gap in terms of access to technology.

Technology can truly become the empowering, equalizing force it should be and deserves the confidence of the global population if we can cross this barrier.

Taking a service approach

The most successful people build their reputations over time, through numerous interactions and experiences.

The more the technology business embraces subscription and service models, the greater we have to interact with customers on a regular basis.

We can assist them when a product isn’t working correctly and prevent costly and inconvenient disruptions to their lives by providing always-on assistance and device upkeep.

Technology’s long-held principles have brought it a tremendous success. However, that success has changed the game. The future of work, politics, human rights, and humankind’s ability to live on Earth will be defined by our industry.

We can’t pretend we’re only disrupters who come up with ideas without stopping to consider them. We are the future’s stewards. Our acceptance of a larger responsibility—and our recognition of the obligations that go with it—will determine whether or not we regain people’s trust.