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). Especially in crisis contexts, trust can be impaired by uncertainty and a dynamic course of events, leading additional demands for privacy in collaborative use of information and communications technology (ICT) and OSNs (B4). 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.