Why Do Developers Care about User Trust?

Consumers won’t use apps and sites they don’t trust. Using the best privacy practices isn’t enough if users can’t understand your privacy policies. The Developers Trust Alliance mark is an easy way for developers to reassure users that they take privacy seriously. It’s an easy visual shorthand for users, and is backed by concrete and easily understandable privacy principles for developers to follow.

Data is what drives innovation in the digital ecosystem, providing insights that allow developers and scientists to solve complex problems and deliver exciting new services.

Consumers recognize that sharing data is what enables the low-cost services they value, and (within limits) they are willing to participate in the digital economy on that basis.

The boundaries of personal privacy are defined by trust relationships. Consumers will not participate in systems that violate their expectations of privacy in the given context.

Developers have strong economic and ethical incentives to build and maintain trust between themselves and their users.

Trust, in the context of the digital ecosystem, is based on Transparency, Security, and Stewardship:

Openness & Transparency is achieved when users and developers share a complete and candid understanding of what data is being shared, how and why it is collected and used, and how it will be controlled and shared with others.

Security & Data Integrity is achieved where the data that users and developers share is kept strictly within the boundaries of the agreed user/developer/authorized third party relationship, to the exclusion of unauthorized third parties.

Responsible Data Stewardship is the developer obligation to treat shared user data in a way consistent with the best interests of the parties, and to act in the shared best interests of all parties when dealing with the outside world.

What do we mean by Data?

We group consumer data into two broad categories: data that users create (sometimes called content), and data about users.

Users typically “own” the content they create, and should be free to share it, charge for it, restrict it, or order it removed or deleted at any time.

Users typically do not own, but do have rights in, data they share about themselves. These shared rights create shared obligations on the part of the other parties who share in the data. Some of these rights relationships are legally regulated (e.g. some financial and health data), while others are not.

User data comes from many sources, and can include things that range from public to private, and from benign to sensitive.