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Trust on the wild web -Philosopher Tom Simpson asks: can we build a trustworthy and safe Internet? Research - University of Cambridge -
April 11, 2011
"Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire. He got there by founding facebook.com, one of the biggest beasts in the Internet jungle. In the early days, so the story goes, he boasted to a friend on instant messenger that he had the personal details of over 4,000 students in Harvard, and if he ever wanted to know anything he should get in touch. Understandably, his incredulous friend wanted to know how Zuckerberg had access to this information. His reply? ‘People just submitted it. I don’t know why. They trust me, dumbf***s.’ The online environment is no longer merely an aid to living well offline; for many, it has become a forum where much of life is now conducted. But one issue that raises its head again and again is this question of trust on the Internet. Examining whether and how we can design the Internet for online trust is the focus of my research in the Faculty of Philosophy, supervised by Dr Alex Oliver. The project is sponsored by Microsoft Research, whose Socio-Digital Systems group in Cambridge looks at how technology interacts with human values. The research is a chance to do some practical philosophy, reflecting on and engaging with applied issues. And as the Internet increasingly becomes a more pervasive part of our lives, issues of trust online are only going to grow in importance. So there is a unique and timely opportunity – and challenge – to break new terrain." -
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