Research Area B: Privacy and Trust in Social Networks

Trust is a multilayered phenomenon, which is considered a highly relevant research topic in a number of disciplines ranging from computer science, to sociology, psychology, economics and law. The spectrum covered by the term trust extends from trust in abstract systems and technology to reflexive and pre-reflexive understandings of trust. In this research area, dealing with Online Social Networks (OSN), the multilayered and ambivalent nature of the term trust is the focal point of research.

OSNs do not only present challenges with regard to the constitution of trust (B.1), which are to be reduced by the application of hardware-based trust anchors (B.2). The usage of data by third parties, endangering users’ private autonomy, also presents severe trust issues (B.3). OSNs, with the diverse trust relations they represent, require trust, but also exhibit deceptive forms of trust. In this context, the computational representation of trust and trustworthiness, as well as the modeling socio-technical trust infrastructures, has to be examined more closely.