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The 2016 Survey: Future of Trust in Internet Interaction

Anonymous responses by those who wrote to explain their response

Internet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering a five-question canvassing fielded by the Imagining the Internet Center and the Pew Internet Project from July 1 through August 12, 2016. One of the questions asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

Billions of people use cell phones and the internet now and hundreds of millions more are expected to come online in the next decade. At the same time, more than half of those who use the internet and cell phones still do not use that connectivity for shopping, banking and other important transactions and key social interactions. As more people move online globally both opportunities and threats will grow. Will people's trust in online interactions, their work, shopping, social connections, pursuit of knowledge and other activities, be strengthened or diminished over the next 10 years?  

Among the key themes emerging from 1,233 respondents' answers were: Trust will be dependent upon immediate context and applied differently in different circumstances. - Trust is not binary or evenly distributed; there are different levels of it. - Better technology plus regulatory and industry changes will help increase trust. - There will be no choice for users but to comply and hope for the best. - People often become attached to convenience and inured to risk. - “The trust train has left the station”; sacrifices tied to trust are a “side effect of progress.” - Better technology plus regulatory and industry changes will help increase trust. - The younger generation and people whose lives rely on technology the most are the vanguard of those who most actively use it, and these groups will grow larger. - Blockchain may or may not be useful in trust-building. - The less-than-satisfying current situation will not change much in the next decade. - Trust will diminish because corporate and government interests are not motivated to improve trust or protect the public. - Criminal exploits will diminish trust.

This non-scientific canvassing found that a bit less than half, 47.85% of these particular respondents, said trust will be strengthened, 24.41% said trust will be diminished and 27.74% of these respondents said “trust will stay about the same."

If you wish to read the full survey report with analysis, click here:
http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2016_survey/Trust_in_Internet_Activities.xhtml

To read credited survey participants' responses with no analysis, click here:
http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2016_survey/Trust_in_Internet_Activities_credit.xhtml

Written elaborations by anonymous respondents

Following are the full responses by study participants who chose to remain anonymous in their response when making remarks in the survey - only including those who included a written elaboration. Some of these are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in shorter form in the official survey report. About half of respondents chose to remain anonymous when providing their elaboration on the question (anonymous responses are published on a separate page).

These responses were collected in an “opt in” invitation to several thousand people who have been identified by researching those who are widely quoted as technology builders and analysts and those who have made insightful predictions to our previous queries about the future of the internet.

An anonymous fellow at an organization assessing the future of privacy wrote, "This depends on how companies behave, i.e. how aggressive they are in the use of personal information. It also depends upon whether people are comfortable with the risk-to-benefit calculus. And it depends on whether personal information can be secured. Due to problems with global hacking, it is unlikely I will ever do banking using my cell phone. A lot of ongoing consumer education is needed. Consumer concern and the feeling of resignation about the current situation is already really high and is likely to stay the same."

An anonymous respondent made a point by adapting a classic line from US history: "Give me convenience or give me death.”

An anonymous systems manager commented, "Trust will go up if and only if advocates for open systems and transparency inherent in civic big data can continue their work."

An anonymous respondent said, "Alternatives will disappear. It is a fait accompli. You must use. With all the strengths and weaknesses."

An anonymous respondent noted, "People will distrust more and more and still accept the use of these systems more and more."

An anonymous professor said, "People will expect data breaches, but will use online services anyway because of their convenience. It's like when people accepted being mugged as the price of living in New York."

An anonymous senior account representative commented, "Trust but verify. Security systems and anti-security systems are locked in an arms race. Breaches become rarer, but more devastating when they occur. It's a Red Queen's Race right out of evolutionary theory, where both sides must run as fast as they can in order to stay in the same place."

An anonymous chief marketing officer commented, "The trust train has left the station, continues to gain speed, and shows very little chance of slowing down. As mobile payment technology proliferates from our phones to our watches to our Internet of Things devices, and as digital natives continue to grow in their share of the world's economic power, concerns about trust in online interactions will seem antiquated and quaint. Breaches may continue and even proliferate, but the technologies will be so embedded in our lives that they will be considered a mere inconvenient side effect of progress."

An anonymous founder and CEO said, "Overall, I hope trust will remain the same but there will probably be a trust shakeup—i.e., some big players will abuse their trust and lose their audience/customers and others will step in. I hope."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will be strengthened, but through perceptual and behavioral manipulation rather than stronger security infrastructure or realistic comparative outcomes. Technologies ability to manipulate behavior is outstripping humans' ability to react in the time scales involved. Some people will take advantage of that."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Best-in-class, encrypted applications will suffer episodic attacks, but the convenience of using them in an increasingly centralized corporate economy run amok will make people trust them without much fuss or critique."

An anonymous professor said, "Measured trust has been declining for 30 years and I see no signs of change."

An anonymous project manager said, "Online security is a complex problem that depends on human behavior to function. With so much infrastructure moving online and a lack of focus on re-engineering our systems with security and privacy at their heart, a string of high-profile failures will taint these new technologies for years to come."

An anonymous programmer and data analyst said, "Corporations grant us access to technology and services in order to increase revenue. This will not change, as the basic infrastructure of the Internet is not amenable to privacy and security. Instead we've seen a series of patchwork solutions that ultimately always fail or are subverted. Without a total rebuild of the Internet itself this will not change, therefore, trust is an illusion."

An anonymous respondent noted, "No one ‘trusts’ these systems. No one with any sense, anyway. The question isn't about ‘trust,’ but rather about recourse and accountability. I don't care what happens with my credit card number, per se, because fraud-detection systems will catch errant activity and alert me. And their profit margins are sufficient that I am indemnified against unauthorized use. Moreover, not enough people have heard stories directly from people they know to be appropriately suspicious. The question you should ask is who will bear the brunt of ‘breached’ systems? Will an algorithm error that gets my friend on a no-fly list be resolvable easily? Will an algorithm or breech that absconds with my friend's life savings be remediable? How will we know what systems offer us recourse? It's not a hard problem. FDIC insurance enabled banking expansion. No insurance, no expansion. It's not a technical problem. It's a social problem. Trust is the wrong question."

An anonymous respondent said, "The Internet is a security shit show. Everyone knows that. The NSA is logging this right now. I'm sure three Russian mobs already have all my passwords."

An anonymous respondent said, "There is no legal incentive at all to get this right. Absent the return of strict liability for anyone who holds data beyond the session, there will never be adequate incentives to protect data. And while some portion of the population is always too clueless to care, it will not be enough to support the current laissez-faire system. Absent strong regulation, the opportunity to make the Internet more useful will be lost."

An anonymous systems engineer observed, "Corporate greed prevents things from being done well/secure."

An anonymous policy advisor commented, "Trust will be one of the most important determinants for the Internet's continued success. The current trend is negative, although an increased awareness of its importance is showing. A combination of empowered users, and new business practices, technology, and regulation will be needed and will require multistakeholder collaboration."

An anonymous Internet Hall of Fame member wrote, "The use of verified identity can provide for much better accountability on the Internet. Knowing who you're dealing with will make it reasonable to 'trust, but verify.'"

An anonymous respondent predicted, "Trust will be strengthened, though I fear it will not be deserved. Rather, users will be coerced into using online technology more as alternatives are phased out."

An anonymous survey participant replied, "People are really bad at assessing risk, and they prioritize convenience over security. As long as services are convenient and they deliver perceived value, people will ignore security threats until they're directly affected."

An anonymous respondent observed, "The organizations developing the standards upon which the infrastructures are built have security and privacy as prime directives in that development. There may be isolated enclaves where the trust may decrease due to mandated weaknesses, but generally the trend is to much greater protections and a legitimate basis for trust."

An anonymous director of business and human rights at a major global rights organization said, "People are increasingly using virtual and online services for a greater variety of things, and this will grow as newer generations rely more on virtual information and services. Implicit trust (the need to use online services) will strengthen overall but specific services online could lose significant trust because of data breeches or privacy issues."

An anonymous respondent commented, "On one hand the ratio of Web-native users (born on this millennium) will grow larger and therefore trust will be strengthened (due to different privacy concept), but on the other hand media exposures of surveillance such as the NSA and online use of users' information by giant companies such as Facebook and Google who are 'caught meddling' with the data will diminish trust."

An anonymous CTO observed, "We already have mechanisms developed, if not widely deployed, that can improve trust. It's an active area of research and development."

An anonymous respondent said, "Metcalfe's Law, the network effect, and a reduction or lack of bricks-and-mortar alternatives will mean that more people will have to trust Internet-based transactions. Technologies like blockchain will give them more confidence and comfort in doing so."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "New threats and new opportunities will evolve, but right now there are both pros and cons of doing business online (hacked social accounts, cat-fishing, phishing, lost or stolen passwords, etc.). I suspect that people will take a bit of a laissez faire attitude about online interactions, as they do now unless a major new threat emerges."

An anonymous respondent replied, "If there is money to be made, industry will find an answer to security."

An anonymous respondent noted, "There does not seem to be broad-based concern about the current and potential impact of mass government surveillance, or about the enormous pool of exploitable personal information being created by the surveillance economy. Where there is concern, the unusability of most encryption technology by non-specialists and the centrality of tools like Google and Facebook make it difficult to take any practical steps to address it. The current status quo will be the future one."

An anonymous online community consultant said, "Familiarity, peer pressure, and convenience are more powerful than anything handed down by education, business, or government."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Generations are coming online who know nothing else. Nostalgia for old methods will die off."

An anonymous process manager said, "Most people don't think about their trust in terms of systems. Even those whose identity has been stolen or data breached only develop anger toward the group immediately responsible for the loss—they're mad at Target, or Playstation, or whoever. They are not mad at the infrastructure. Most people get turn their anger on the 'bad driver' who caused an accident, not the road builder who designed a blind turn in a busy area."

An anonymous futurist wrote, "Trust in mobile communications will be strengthened because it must. People will not have a choice. Every area you mention above will change. I do not know how, but I know they will be different. Also, you did not mention family life, which is already changing in families that have phones. The phones are designed to mediate communications between people. That is the purpose. All of our social institutions are built upon communications between people. Now, take a device that is designed to change the relationship between people and the institutions must change. The people born into the mobile communications age are just reaching adulthood. I expect a social change more difficult than the 1960's is coming in the next five to ten years. The digital natives will have a very different ethic of behavior than the 'older' generations."

An anonymous senior IT analyst observed, "Trust will diminish because the damageable incidents will rise, but at the same time more people will use more of it."

An anonymous principal engineer commented, "Trust will be diminished by increasing rates of cyber-attack but adoption will increase nonetheless. People won't recognize alternatives."

An anonymous principal engineer for an IT and network vendor and service provider predicted, "Trust will be diminished, but I am not saying that fewer people will use the Internet for shopping, work, etc. More people will be driven to use the Internet and thus will have more reasons not to trust it. Until software developers stop coding vulnerabilities (e.g., buffer overflows) into the software that runs all these systems, trust won't improve. At this time, I see very little improvement or interest in improvement in industry as a whole. As more 'things' are connected to the Internet and permeate society, it will only get worse. Yes, I'm very pessimistic. At some point, society might even have to hold software developers responsible (gasp)."

An anonymous senior researcher who works for Microsoft replied, "As more and more people come online, that's more and more targets for scammers. Since reaching people online is so easy, the scammers' negative actions are magnified."

An anonymous respondent working in global public policy at a major telecommunications company wrote, "Paradoxically, I believe the use of online transactions will grow rapidly as consumers and companies benefit from ease of use. However, due to the corresponding risks, trust in these processes will be threatened by security threats."

An anonymous respondent predicted, "Financial areas will cause the most concern. With data leaks increasing, it's only a matter of time for financial data to be leaked more than it was in the Panama Papers. Thinking of the Anthem Healthcare breach, millions were affected. The breach of a major banking system like Wells Fargo or CitiBank would be catastrophic, and it's only a matter of time until it happens."

An anonymous respondent commented, "I expect it to go down, primarily due to an increase in security breaches, but also due to an increase in awareness of how individuals are being tracked. Security breaches will primarily impact economic activity, but potentially could have catastrophic effects on health care. Political and civic as well as cultural life will be primarily impacted by a better awareness that all online interactions are being monitored by one entity or another, and the promises of anonymization of that data are disingenuous. Blockchains are not a magic bullet, they might mitigate some of the effects on economic activity, but the crypto-currency scene has been rife with scams so far and I don't see that changing any time soon. Not to mention there are methods to reverse-engineer or otherwise manipulate chains, which undercuts their position; and the value being assigned to them by mentioning them in this question."
An anonymous respondent commented, "It will depend on new systems and evolving expectations. Amazon depends on trust; will it maintain it? Blockchain is about avoiding trust and will prove mostly about libertarian fantasy."

An anonymous consultant observed, "Let's assume the cybercrime arms race between bad actors and our defenders will continue without either a mass migration to some new, locked-down Web or the triumph of evil. As more people spend more time performing more tasks online, their comfort should increase simply by becoming accustomed to the digital world. Abusive behavior will continue, but I don't see that driving down trust overall. Some people are unaffected by this, for various reasons. Instead, rising awareness of abuse and sympathy and support for those affected by it should help increase Net trust."

An anonymous respondent noted, "The only threat is a successful attack on a major institution for a widely accepted currency. Examples include MasterCard, etc. Otherwise, trend of acceptance and normalization for these activities will continue to grow."

an anonymous respondent said, "Trust will be irrelevant. Hacking, identity theft, trolling, doxxing will become increasingly commonplace and a daily cost of doing business on the Internet. Convenience and convention will keep us transacting; but our expectations will shift to accommodate those problems which are currently framed as trust issues."

An anonymous assistant professor at a state university wrote, "Trust will be strengthened more than anything. I expect that information security will improve, on the whole. Further, I imagine younger generations are and will be more comfortable with sharing information, including sensitive information, online. I expect, for instance, that most voting will eventually move online, and that more health care discussions between doctors and patients will move online. I think, for the most part, these are positive changes, though there is probably some negative consequence to diminished in-person contact."

An anonymous principal consultant, commented, "There is this Dilbert comic where someone at lunch is bragging how they would never give out their credit card online, then turns around and hands it to a minimum wage server. The risks from the Internet aren't greater than what we have always faced, they are just less familiar to some. The database where Amazon stores my credit card number is way more secure than the drawer where some mom and pop operation used to story my credit card impressions. Technology also allows vendors, processors, and banks to respond to problems much more quickly. Are people still going to get swindled? Of course, just as they always have. But at the same time we have the ability to let a wide audience know that no, there is not a Nigerian prince who wants your help smuggling money out of the country. Scams are going to have a much shorter lifespan than they once did."

An anonymous doctoral candidate of anthropology at a state university commented, "The answer should be situated around the globe. News from India shows how certain companies are shying away from PayPal-type platforms. Trust issues will persist."

An anonymous chief problem solver observed, "People are fundamentally lazy. Our best and brightest typically make systems and products so the rest can get more benefit from less work. Desensitization happens soooooo much faster on the Internet because you're having thousands of stimulae hurtled at you every minute instead of a few stimulae per minute doing just about any other activity in the known world. The combo of a desensitized user base and consumer-protection activities is quite likely to increase everyone's concept of 'the Internet is safe' because so many stakeholders care so much about actually making that happen (more or less). I doubt we'll be 'safer' in any objective way in 10 years than we are now, but I think the average person will spend a lot less time worrying about it."

An anonymous professor at a research university noted, "Trust will likely be a function of the time someone has been using the services, the intensity of their use, and their relative risk."

An anonymous employee of a large US university said, "Technology is becoming more and more embedded into every day life. We have seen an explosion of this recently where now technology like fitness trackers and health monitors are an essential part of life for a subset of the population. I believe that this will only become more embedded in our existences, where the only way we will access our bank is through a mobile device, and our doctors will be able to access our health data with a touch of a button. I believe that economic activity and health are the sectors that will be impacted the most in the next 10 years. Health will be something that people see and access more readily; their doctors will be interacting with them via new technologies and monitors that all will have access to, and this will be positive for the health of the country provided that everyone can afford it—which is questionable with the opposition to basic health care access that we see from some members of our government. Economic activity will be more behind-the-scenes, with trading and other financial activity happening using technologies involving forecasting and monitoring that we are already starting to see. People will feel the effect of this, but the general population may not be able to access it, especially at the rate we are going now with Wall Street and other financial corporations becoming more and more powerful. This will be a negative development unless thoughtful financial reforms are made. I believe that our explosion in political/civil life has already happened, and now it is becoming less interesting that people are using Twitter to organize protests. This was big news in the Arab Spring, but now it is almost a new normal and not noteworthy any longer."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Threat and trust are very personal and complex issues driven by emotions. Future events can swing theses emotions wildly and are not reliably predictable."

An anonymous research communication director wrote, "Net natives might define trust differently, so, in the future, cell phones users (kids of today) might use more transactions."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The market will continue to improve in ways to build societal trust, but I would not be at all surprised to find these efforts derailed by economic catastrophe in the very near future, from which a more trustworthy Internet may potentially arise."

An anonymous professor at a technology institute wrote, "As more societal activities move online, people will be forced out of convenience and critical mass to engage in online interactions. Whether or not they trust the systems will become irrelevant because there will not be many alternative to not going online. The quickest place in which we will see this massive migration to online will be in the economic field—banking, financial, and shopping activities—the slowest sector to move (at least in the United States) will be the healthcare field."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Despite the rise in attacks and global threats, the convenience factors grow, and as the older, more technology-resistant, generation dies out, more and more people will see the Internet as the normal vehicle for accomplishing tasks and interacting with the world."

An anonymous research officer said, "This is purely a demographic issue. Distrust of technology skews toward the older sections of society so, by necessity, trust will grow as time passes. Trust could be further amplified by companies improving efforts to ensure digital security and avoid fraud."

An anonymous professor of political science at a private university wrote, "Most people simply don't think about the risks involved in these things, and I don't know that there's an obvious reason why that would change."

An anonymous respondent said, "There will continue to be major hacks and data breaches associated with online activities, but thus far these don't seem to have outweighed the convenience that people enjoy in taking advance of online services. So it's unlikely that trust will diminish. However, people will become smarter about how they communicate and interact online, allowing for greater amounts of privacy even as data sharing increases."

An anonymous respondent commented, "This is something I do not really feel comfortable predicting without data, so my answer is speculation. From personal experience with young people, it appears that they care less about privacy and are a bit more trusting than older generations. This is purely observational and I do not know if it is empirically true."

An anonymous respondent observed, "People will get used to the way things are and stop worrying, even when their worries are legit."

An anonymous senior engineer at a university said, "Banking would experience greatest impact, Foreign Exchange would activity. The social medial would also be enhanced and increased in the number of users for the communication."

An anonymous institute director wrote, "All areas of life will be changed dramatically by data driven algorithmic cognition and decision making. The network will break down traditional social domains, such as business, politics, healthcare, education, science, etc. Networks cut across these domains and make them increasingly inefficient. There is no smart city without smart education, science, healthcare, business, etc. And smartness comes from integration of all data sources and networked infrastructures. Whether positive or negative is a pointless question. Who is to judge? According to what criteria? If you had asked the ancient Greeks whether the Roman Empire was positive or negative, would the question have made any sense? Blockchain may play a role in furthering the digital transformation, but no single technology will dominate. The network norms of connectivity, flow, communication, participation, transparency, authenticity, and flexibility will influence how society changes."

An anonymous CEO commented, "Social interactions will continue to grow at record speed. Traditional and emerging markets will grow differently due to cultural traditions, living conditions, access and education. Blockchain systems could play a tremendous role in developing countries."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Over time, people will prefer the use of online as it becomes more common. Using fingerprints and eye scans can make things more secure, but you'd always want some sort of backup."

An anonymous professor at a large university noted, "Approaches to securely serving extensive client bases, and cooperating on network security strategies will continue to strengthen networks and devices. This is however, a fluid situation."

An anonymous head of privacy said, "Wireless devices and security for IOT applications and online services will continue to improve. As devices and connectivity are made available to more individuals, positive economic and socialization opportunities will expand. Cross-border law enforcement and consumer and privacy protection, in addition to mobile authentication regimes will encourage expanding trust."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Any new technology is not trusted at first: the car, the aircraft, and so on. We are still at the infant stages of the Internet. By the end of this century the Internet and related technologies shall be 'embedded' in most items that we own and will work with little or no user input."

An anonymous respondent said, "As with online education, the Internet can do a lot to augment our everyday experiences. However, nothing can ever truly replace human interactions in complicated or sensitive situations."

An anonymous information privacy researcher at a state university said, "I already think people trust the Internet more than they should. For example, just having couple of social media accounts here and there with bunch of interactions can reveal a lot of information about the person, which might cause hackers and data phishers to target you. So, trust will continue to grow with the demand. I believe people will prioritize connectivity over trust."

An anonymous engineer at Cisco wrote, "Some industries like banking are still 100 years behind, but we already see signs of revolution and change. The future is bright in this area."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust is irrelevant. We know that people are wildly uncomfortable with the amount of information that, e.g. Google, has about them, but it does not stop them from using Google. People need to live their lives and they will use the services they find necessary."

An anonymous long-time Silicon Valley technology firm communications executive commented, "The fact is we already trust online interactions a lot—for banking, for travel, for job applications, social interactions/sharing, etc. I think, over time, blockchain will help with trust a lot and get people over what concerns they do have. It will take some great use cases (and not technical under-the-hood explanations, which don't help people adopt it) to gain traction."

An anonymous CEO wrote, "It would be better to ask what factors will strengthen vs. weaken and what will enhance vs. inhibit those factors."

An anonymous respondent noted, "I hope more protections will be put in place."

An anonymous marketing researcher said, "Unless business and government find effective ways to halt the growth of hacking, using the Internet for financial transactions will become riskier and eventually reduce use of this method of communication and transacting business."

An anonymous respondent observed, "People will have no options; they will be forced to put information out there even if they don't want to. This simply expands on what is already the case."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "This is not a question of trust but of limited alternatives, people will have no choice."

An anonymous respondent commented, "When compliance can be mechanically enforced at scale, trust is unnecessary."

An anonymous respondent observed, "We have already seen a number of astonishing leaks or thefts of secure information such as people's identities on a mass scale. The negative results of this appear to be limited, but this could be because banks are unwilling to admit to losses incurred through security failures. The intrusion of networked computing into many new areas, such as digitally networking hospitals for diagnostic imaging, and self-driving cars, creates the potential for a startling security threat that could cause wide-spread chaos. This is not a new idea. Clifford Stoll's book The Cuckoo's Egg (1989) points out that the hackers infiltrating his Unix system could just as well have been infiltrating the operating system of a gamma camera or other clinical system. We know that many governments are putting efforts into cyber-warfare. This offers another avenue for disaster."

An anonymous respondent replied, "More access to information means better targets for hackers and thieves. Too many incidents of data theft are leaving people wary of what they provide."

An anonymous respondent said, "As we're increasingly living online, I believe that those interactions will become even more normative than they already are, leading to a decrease in distrust of 'virtual' interactions."

An anonymous sociologist at the Social Media Research Foundation commented, "Weaponized information systems will corrode the credibility of these systems. Once faith in the validity of network delivered data is eroded the entire superstructure of the network will collapse. If stock prices, weather reports, and news articles are clearly seen to be manipulated and fraudulent, how will the means of communication survive?"

An anonymous scientific editor replied, "I *used* to do these things online. I no longer do it if I can possibly avoid it. (And mostly, luckily, I can.) The Internet has never been secure, but the scope of its insecurities has become truly daunting. More bad actors, more state-level bad actors, and a massive chilling effect overall. And even if it was possible to address the problem, there's no incentive to do so. 'We take our customers' security very seriously'—sure they do, also, the check's in the mail. I doubt that blockchains will have any meaningful impact on any of it. Any more than RSA or TOR has made much difference to anyone, or DRM [Digital Rights Management] has had any impact on 'piracy.' (Mind you, biometric-based security is way worse. When the wheels come off that bus, it's really going to be a mess.)”

An anonymous respondent commented, "Unless and until a secure format for data transmission exists (all the time)—trust will be diminished as the services that seemed safe will be hacked and people's information will be at risk. This exposure crosses over all uses—shopping, banking, social media 'private' settings, etc. Think of all the institutions that have your credit card on file—the phone company, Starbucks, Park Mobile, etc. It's scary."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Convenience and an increasing public acceptance of the fact that you have less protection by using online tools will be the driver for more uptake, not an increase in trust."

An anonymous respondent commented, "This strengthened trust is a matter of generational replacement. Children today won't even consider that there's an alternate way of conducting business."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Trust will stay about the same but use will continue to rise as the use of technologies in general (not just phones) becomes more expected, normative, and sometimes necessary. But there will be enough concerns and incidents that I don't think there'll be a major increase in trust, and enough apathy that I don't there'll be a major decrease."

An anonymous researcher at a futures institute wrote, "It is in the financial interest of powerful companies that this trust be strengthened, and they have the ability to make that happen."

An anonymous respondent commented, "People will have no choice, but to increase their economic activity online. I expect online security services to grow."

An anonymous associate professor at a public research university observed, "Younger people seem willing to do about anything on-line regardless of their awareness of the consequences."

An anonymous associate professor of communication studies at a public university in Canada said, "I see this as balanced only if civil society keeps up the pressure to maintain transparency."

An anonymous associate professor commented, "I'd like to believe trust will be strengthened but I believe that depends on effective regulation of online services. A lot depends on whether government is given the authority and resources to regulate online trade."

An anonymous managing director noted, "Both the economic and social benefits—across the board—are significant enough to guarantee progress. Commercial applications will grow faster; government applications for trust (healthcare, education) will take a while. This requires transformations of whole sectors which is a slow and tedious process."

An anonymous respondent who works in the government wrote, "Most-affected will be political and civic life. Trust is a function of knowledge and shared information and belief sets. As more facts become available, more trust is generated. As more opinions are disguised as facts, less trust and more polarization will occur."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Trust will stay the same, but de facto more will be done through these mechanisms."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Any gain in trust due to familiarity will be balanced by increasing reports of cybercrime and of government surveillance."

An anonymous computer science professor at a European university wrote, "People are already engaging in all sorts of activities on-line, they will just spread more as these can also be done with any sort of mobile device and at any time. There is a need to build trustworthy (private, sound and secure) systems to ensure the increase in usage. I expect health care and political and civic life to be most strengthened by this trend. Blockchain will lead to the disappearance of jobs such as trusted third parties, but it will allow the appearance of new possibilities and new jobs."

An anonymous Web and mobile developer commented, "As online becomes a norm, older people or with less tech skills will be less common. Being able to buy groceries when you're commuting, talking with colleagues when doing a transatlantic flight, or simply ordering food for your goldfish right before skydiving will allow people to take more advantage of the scarcest good of our modern times: time itself. Although, to be honest, I fear people will not be able to reclaim that time as theirs and, instead, spend it on more work."

An anonymous respondent noted, "It will be strengthened due to new privacy policies, identity services and security measures."

An anonymous respondent said, "We're still a long way from 'six sigma trust' in the online world."

An anonymous senior program manager wrote, "Not even the Snowden revelations have been able to shake what I would not call trust in online interactions and transactions but rather laziness and ignorance towards possible threats."

An anonymous respondent commented, "As new people come in, overall measures of trust will remain the same. The old and the new users will probably balance out in the aggregate."

An anonymous assistant professor of data ethics, law, and policy observed, "People will receive less information about how their data are being used and in the absence of massive public disaster, they will trust more and question less."

An anonymous respondent noted, "This is a hard question to answer. In general, people would like wait and see. They may not like the idea of trusting our future in the hands of misguided techies."

An anonymous computing sciences professor at a major technology institute said, "Techniques already exist for securing the means of communications that include social media and electronic commerce. A major difficulty with online applications (including mobile apps) is the error recovery during workflow processing, which results in user dissatisfaction and potential threats. The connectivity among people, and between people and institutions (e.g., banks, retailers, governments) is going to help both the urban population (e.g., bypassing traffic and other physical obstacles) and the rural population (e.g., shrinking the physical distance). Increasingly, we are more limited by our own capacity to produce and consume information than by the limitations of the environment (e.g., physical distance in rural areas and traffic/pollution in urban areas)."

An anonymous respondent said, "With new massive data breaches in the news nearly every month, trust will continue to become the less and less rational choice online. If the federal government can't keep our nation's spies' SF-86 secure, it's hard to believe anything can ever be secure online. It's like storing a pile of gold in your front lawn and blaming the thieves for hopping your three-foot fence."

An anonymous respondent said, "This issue might see a significant change in the next ten years—there are enough vulnerabilities throughout systems that it seems unlikely that we *won't* see several high-profile instances of theft, fraud, and criminal damage arising from them, and even more unlikely that the various news media will not respond with increasingly apocalyptic coverage of the subject. Net result: less trust."

An anonymous research professor, "Trust is dead now. Thus, it will stay the same: Dead."

An anonymous chief scientist observed, "Continuous surveillance will be the cold shower to trusting connectivity."

An anonymous professor of public policy at a research university noted, "Something will go wrong. Privacy, probably."

An anonymous professor commented, "Trust requires a belief that both parties are transparent and concerned with mutual outcomes. I see nothing in the tea leaves that says disempowered citizens will become more trusting."

An anonymous executive director wrote, "The ease of using online commerce is quickly displacing reliance on brick and mortar. Blockchain trust systems may speed this development."

An anonymous respondent with the Internet Engineering Task Force observed, "I doubt it will change much for individual people. But on average it will increase as old people die and new people enter the system. I do most of my work with an internationally distributed community. It is very powerful to assemble a team without regard to geography."

An anonymous professor at a public university noted, "People will rely much more on networked mobile devices in the future, for all areas of life."

An anonymous software engineer wrote, "People's trust will have zero correlation with reality. It is not appropriate to expect their feelings of trust to correlate with actual technological details."

An anonymous professor of media and communications at an Australian university commented, "All areas of social life will be affected by deepening of online interaction. Blockchain systems can play a positive role in strengthening trust—as long as implementation involves all stakeholders, and is framed democratically."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Each time there is a breach, people will be scared, but it's cheaper for the merchants, so they will give you no choice. They won't care if 10% of potential customers are locked out, as long as it's cheaper for the merchant to deal with the remaining 90% through phone apps."

An anonymous professor at a state university noted, "Trust will be strengthened mainly because people will become used to using these tools daily for these functions. 20 miles an hour was once considered a dangerous speed for human travel."

An anonymous respondent said, "While more mature users are tempering their initial optimism or vulnerability, there are still large portions of the global population that will be building initial experiences and trust in the coming decade."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "My answer is based on the fact that I suspect that the younger crowd has higher trust, and as that crowd ages, more people will have more trust. Some of this trust is really just comfort and what one is used to. One question is whether the trust will be too high at the expense of privacy."

An anonymous IT director said, "It will be a never-ending battle to deal with the threats inherent in online interactions, but I'm hopeful that as people become more tech savvy in general and aware of potential threats (and how to avoid them), along with large corporations and governments pouring resources into protecting their online investments, that we'll be able to stay ahead of the threat curve and continue to improve both security and trust in our online systems."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will be strengthened even as threats grow."

An anonymous respondent commented, "It will be strengthened primarily as a function of convenience."

An anonymous respondent said, "This is hard to answer. Again, if measures are not taken to enhance trust online by meaningfully combatting illegal activity trust will be diminished and the Internet will not meet its full potential as a medium for speech and commerce."

An anonymous respondent replied, "It will be strengthened just because of increased familiarity."

An anonymous education director said, "As it becomes more of the 'normal' people will trust more, even be willing to take the risks and occasional break of security as part of the process. At the same time, technology related to security will continue to improve at a rapid rate."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "In general, people have some sense of distrust of online interactions, but it isn't enough to impact behavior. I don't really see that changing unless people really are personally impacted by something (i.e. identity theft, incorrect personal information disseminated, etc.) The convenience is usually too great. That said, there's a lot to be gained from increased social connections and available knowledge that online activities offer."

An anonymous CEO replied, "It will be strengthened because more of us will be online to support each other, police the systems, and identify issues."

An anonymous director of academic computing noted, "In money we trust. All others pay cash."

An anonymous professor at a state university said, "This is the wrong question. The question is what will we mean by trust?"

An anonymous career specialist wrote, "This one is too hard to answer in any depth for me. I'd predict that there will be increased problems and disassociation with communities that are different from one's own. This problem has been apparent and growing for a while. Online interactions tend to focus on specific arenas but are dependent on the worldview of those who writing the code; the blind spots here will continue."

An anonymous respondent commented, "It will stabilise at just barely enough to get them to be online consumers."

An anonymous faculty member at a public research university said, "There's no reason to trust a computer, but one may trust that their credit card company or government will guarantee them against the risks. Whether people do trust those institutions depends on how the institutions behave. As people get more experiences of online hacks, identity thefts, and awareness of massive state surveillance, their trust in online interactions will wane. The only way I can see institutions countering this is if they provide guarantees against dangers."

An anonymous professor wrote, "Trust in economic activity and health care in particular will decline."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Trust in online interactions will diminish because the basis for trust—i.e., high-confidence expectations of successful outcomes that are not accompanied by any unintended consequences, based on consistent prior experience of similarly successful outcomes—will be less common/widespread in absolute terms. The increasing probability of unsuccessful outcomes (e.g., due to overtly malicious/criminal activity) will probably have less impact on the decline in trust than the increasing nonconsensual but unavoidable ecommerce-related 'transactional overhead' (e.g., mandatory 'opt-in' adver-surveillance, etc.)."

An anonymous CEO commented, "Trust is an emotional response and, as such, strongly affected by the latest incident or two and rarely by facts, proofs or logic. Since it is a belief system, trust will decline as incidents will increase over the coming years."

An anonymous assistant director at a state university observed, "The Internet is becoming as important as other utilities in their life (electricity, water, etc.) so I don't see any circumstance where it would become less integrated with day-to-day life. The largest impact in the next decade will be the Internet of Things connecting our things to the cloud. I've personally invested in numerous devices and they have had very positive effects on my lifestyle and can see the possibilities expanding as technology increases and costs come down."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "As our online experience evolves new decentralized and transparent systems for online activities should result in more trust. Online banking and shopping and other activities will become the only option as physical services fall out of use because of the economic disparity in their application."

An anonymous Web developer commented, "Online presence becomes a larger part of our life by the minute. Slowly each individual's 'online fingerprint' grows, until 'privacy' as we know it dies, and we fully co-exist with our digital self."

An anonymous development director observed, "As with chip and pin, and contactless payments, people will ignore the security risks if favour of ease of use. The ease of use becomes trust. The same flawed logic will happen with the convenience of using a phone for banking and shopping."

An anonymous vice president of product at an unnamed new startup noted, "People are generally too trusting of tech security. That will persist.”

An anonymous technical operations lead said, "Economic—Obviously, we will have more of the economy be purely virtual, such as purchasing in-game virtual items. Right now, this is the all-or-nothing 'give us your credit card,' but there will be many more fine-grained ways of buying things in the future. Health Care—Ideally, there would be a standard way of noting your health, and it would be stored/owned by you. (Instead of health records being "owned" by companies providing care, and transfer of records being a 'value-add' service that costs more.) We could even have people do "research" by asking a question that queries everyone's records, but doesn't expose any individual data. Politics—I hope we have reached peak indifference and in the future politicians will be held to a higher standard instead of a lower one. Blockchain—I am not convinced the blockchain is essential for everything. I think it will have a few uses. But there are massive costs to run the blockchain, so it might be simpler to just trust a few institutions, and let them charge a tiny fee to run a centralized infrastructure. (Just like we all pay big fees to credit card companies right now, but they are failing at the security aspect.)"

An anonymous respondent commented, "The cat-and-mouse game will continue."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Security will increase as we increasingly use these techs for sensitive transactions. But it will take some major breaches to get us motivated to get there."

An anonymous systems administrator in municipal government observed, "Trust will remain the same, but the penetration and use will grow as it becomes more commonplace and the generations who either never used the Internet or were just present for it's birth will give way to people who have never know life without it."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "I expect there to be surges of mistrust and trust as users' demand more security in various privacy aspects (buying/selling/banking, health care, social media) and more access that weakens the security measures."

An anonymous researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media said, "Trust is less relevant when there is no need to develop loyalty because there are no alternatives. We will use what we have available and mistrust it because there won’t be obvious incentives for service providers to work in our favor. Worldwide, people will increasingly use cell phones and the Internet to do work, shop, engage socially, and learn. People will use these services because they have no choice, as the services will not be available offline as it’s too expensive to maintain brick and mortar (something we are seeing in banking, retail, and government services). And there will be few options because value is determined by the network effects leveraged by many companies."

An anonymous clinical informaticist noted, "As a healthcare informatician I see big data providing far better alternatives for population health, unfortunately I do not see this benefit improving or assisting individuals with 'unusual' medical conditions. Security and privacy will be the most critical points going forward."

An anonymous cultural informatics professional wrote, "Concerning industrial espionage and transactions, unfortunately enterprises are bigger in numbers and infrastructures and maybe they will take the control in some point."

An anonymous professor at MIT observed, "There will be a paradoxical effect. People will not trust but they will use the system. For convenience. So they won't trust the privacy of medical record-keeping, but when their hospital goes to that system, they won't know how or if they can complain, object, abstain. When people don't understand their options, they participate. And they feel alienated."

An anonymous respondent said, "Two ways that trust will be diminished: 1) the security/privacy of the technology (hacking, NSA surveillance, data mining policies of companies); 2) the realization (by a number of people) that the lack of human interaction leaves them felling lonely and disconnected from community and society."

An anonymous computer scientist commented, "We are now paying the ‘technical debt’ for an Internet that lacks essential facilities for security (e.g. association control). The ‘attack surface’ is growing faster than our ability to protect it; complexity is growing due to shoddy science and poor programming. There is no magic solution in tech itself; it is a process and culture change, rather like how financial services regulation has matured in response to past crises."

An anonymous respondent said, "As hacking becomes more prevalent, more caution can become necessary. There is ‘another one born every minute’ to provide victims for the negative hackers."

An anonymous director working/living outside the US observed, "Cell phones cannot control or increase people’s incomes. These devices can only provide citizen services. Broadband, high-speed Internet opportunities must be planned for social inclusion."

An anonymous digital systems engineer commented, "Trust is heavily dependent on proper security solutions going forward. Currently, the market as a whole does not focus on these issues, but instead approaches this on a 'fix it if you see it' basis. This leads to late discovery, massive data leaks and consequently to distrust that cannot be easily solved by adding said security within 10 years. The market missed the boat on this one, and will need (major) outreach campaigns to establish proper trust going forward."

An anonymous senior software engineer at Microsoft said, "We will trust the experiences less as the larger structures (corporate, government) try to remain in control, yet we will become more dependent on them than ever through the pervasiveness (i.e., online micropayments) and lure (i.e., virtual reality). It will be a phase of a love-hate relationship which could cause rebellion against the system."

An anonymous engineer for a major US government agency commented, "Trust will be diminished but we will fail to notice."

An anonymous IT manager and systems administrator said, "I'm a techno-optimist. The more people come online, the more the societies around them evolve. The nodes of power become decentralized and radical undertakings suddenly become feasible. Shopping and banking platforms have only become more secure and more efficient over time. As more and more people adopt online solutions to their desires, the more brick-and-mortar solutions will fall by the wayside. The most obvious example here is streaming video and the death of video rental stores. This will only continue in the future. There may be a long tail of holdouts for some things, for example my mother still has a dumb-phone, but eventually it will no longer be financially viable for phone companies to manufacture or distribute dumb-phones, and sooner or later the long tail effectively vanishes. You can't halt or reverse technological progress."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "People may be skeptical of these services at first but less time spent on this kind of activity will cause them to begin using these services."

An anonymous respondent commented, "That there should be some wariness of online shopping. It is up to the service providers to make sure that they are able to keep their customer's information safe and that they are seen as a reliable online resource."

An anonymous respondent observed, "At this point one can just assume your private information has been stolen; and nearly everyone is now aware of phishing scams and other threats, yet humanity is just as happy to accept those risks in favor of free shipping. Institutions are pushing more services online-only (to save money), forcing people online despite risks. People continue to shrug and carry on."

An anonymous respondent noted, "It'll be both (as there are always security breaches) but familiarity causes complacency if not trust."

An anonymous business analyst said, "More of the people who don't trust the tech are older, as they die off and younger folks who mostly don't think about privacy and security become a larger portion of the consumer base of those devices."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Being online is necessary so everyone will go. But if we want to strengthen trust we need stronger encryption. If governments keep cryptography weak then trust will weaken also. The rate of leaks (banks, hospitals, government) prove the need for stronger encryption."

An anonymous coordinator of member services at a nonprofit association wrote, "As technology becomes more important, poor people lose out. In Canada, data plans and Internet are expensive and if you can't afford them you are cut out. Even having irregular access prevents a person from developing the familiarity and skills they need to use that technology in the future. Future developments will leave the poor behind."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The benefits will out weight the risks. Young people don't care as much about privacy online and we will see more of that kind of thinking."

An anonymous respondent said, "The fears are real, but I do expect the use of banking/purchasing to go up, but only go up out of apathy/ignorance of the risk"

An anonymous respondent wrote, "People will trust more, if only by familiarity."

An anonymous respondent commented, "People's trust in online transactions will see-saw over time, like I've seen happen for years."

An anonymous political science professor replied, "Trust in major institutions (e.g., firms, governments) is declining across the globe. Trust in 'imagined communities' seems to be on the rise. The Internet seems to be becoming more a vehicle of established, monied, extractive interests. I believe that anti-globalization is our (near) future, and the Internet will come to be seen as globalization's chief vehicle."

An anonymous respondent commented, "There have simply been too many data breaches and revelations about surveillance for people to have an increased trust. That being said, the systems in question are simply too useful and ubiquitous at this point for people to stop using them because of a lack of trust, so I am concerned that there will be insufficient pressures for reform."

An anonymous researcher at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology wrote, "The more people become active online, the greater the risks. It seems likely that we will experience more data-related scandals that might lead to diminishing trust among the users."

An anonymous professor of law at a state university replied, "Expect some disastrous cyberwar or hacking attacks on the horizon. Firms and persons without truly robust backup systems could be burnt badly."

An anonymous CEO wrote, "It seems to me that trust just doesn't scale. Dunbar's Number is a good reason for that. I don't see any clear way to address this going forward."

An anonymous Internet social researcher working in higher education replied, "Unless we have some major changes the trust will continue to be diminished. However, with that comes opportunity."

An anonymous communications and digital coordinator noted, "This is a difficult question. Trust will be more volatile (already there is a trend in this direction). It will be easier to establish trust (through relationships) and to lose it. Reputation will still be important."

An anonymous civil engineer working in the state government said, "I don't think people are going to have much choice but to trust online interactions because there will be less opportunity to use traditional methods."

An anonymous analyst programmer commented, "The more technology becomes a crutch, the more people will seek to rely on it, despite any temporary set backs that may be faced."

An anonymous project architect wrote, "I do not suspect that future social problems stemming from technology will do closely resemble today’s."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will be strengthened, but only if the security protections also improve. I was very wary about Internet banking until my bank gave me a Netcode device which provided additional password protection. Now I can use all the functionality with a strong degree of confidence. However, I am getting a bit tired that when I request services, and provide my email address, I am added to their respective email distribution lists. Similarly with all the telemarketers who ring up and tell me—your computer has infected the Internet with a virus and you must give them control of it to solve the problem."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Specific items will be regarded as trustworthy."

An anonymous IT architect noted, "Trust will be strengthened, but that doesn't correlate security or privacy. I've been asked to demo healthcare apps, and I can't think of anything I'd more rapidly avoid than sharing that sort of data with insurance companies, who already make healthy profits over denying coverage for even the simplest of procedures, yet have a government mandate to exist and charge ridiculous premiums for this shabby coverage. Education over a phone is ridiculous. They're far too tiny. Over a regular computer, sure, it works to a degree, but the death of the PC receives frequent press."

An anonymous professor emeritus observed, "People are gradually learning that the posting of an item on social media or the Internet or mainstream media outlets does not make it true. I assume that this learning of skepticism will continue."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The increased focus of criminals on how to exploit mobile devices/internet access is becoming better understood by the general population. Trusted vendors will have significant competitive advantage over other vendors. Health care and education should see the greatest positive impact, but the former and economic activity raise significant security risks. In addition, the latest popular app, Pokémon Go, shows how criminals are learning how to manipulate even cultural / societal types of engagements."

An anonymous chief legal officer replied, "Every time a retailer or a bank is hacked public trust is diminished. While many people applauded the hackers gaining access to Trump's returns at the IRS, they should instead have been concerned about the security breach."

An anonymous professor at a public university noted, "Two major forces are working against trust: 1) Corporations. They care about trust and security, to some extent, but their interests are not aligned with those of consumers. 2) Those [bad actors] who attack individuals and systems, and will always be a step ahead of any possible security measures. As people hear more and more about data breaches, etc., they will become more distrustful. Already, many people who are not technically sophisticated take a blanket approach in which they wish to reveal nothing to anyone. And others do just the opposite, believing that no one wants their data, trusting the big corporations will protect them, or deciding they can't function without online interaction and giving in to risks."

An anonymous principal architect said, "Smartphones today do not provide adequate protections to reign in surveillance capitalism or totalitarian government. These limitations will become more apparent with time."

An anonymous respondent predicted, "Shopping will not change much, but work and politics are not moving in the right direction. Of course the Internet allows extreme minorities to reinforce themselves."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "The technology will be more familiar and everyone will use it because it's easier to do. It may be more risky but no one will care."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will increase due to familiarity and better encryption."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Right now most banking, health, etc., apps are built by the lowest bidder, etc. institutions are slowly but finally seeing that they need to bring development in house, and create apps and services that their customers will trust. That's slowly being realized, but it will take time."

An anonymous database analyst noted, "Trust will be strengthened but only if abuse of the public's trust is never tolerated."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will be strengthened only in that relying on online interactions, with risks, will so be normalised that a considerable number of people may not know better, and may not question the architectures of online interaction."

An anonymous respondent commented, "I ticked the box that says 'strengthened' because the majority of people do not care (or don't understand) that the governments of the world (and certain tech corporations) are attempting to harvest our personal data for nefarious purposes. So for most people, they will only see the benefits of Internet-connected smartphones, and they will grow to trust the machine."

An anonymous network architect at Vodafone noted, "For the reasons trust will be strengthened, refer Cory Doctorow's 'peak indifference' essay."

An anonymous respondent said, "I honestly don't know where this will go—too many variables. IoT will play a big role because sloppy security there will directly impact many, many lives and erode trust over the entire cyberspace."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Mostly it will just be age—as people more familiar with technology get older, online transactions of all sorts will become more commonplace. Blockchain systems feel like they'll remain slightly more specialised, though there's certainly a possibility of a big corporation picking it up and normalising it."

An anonymous respondent learning systems and analytics lead noted, "Online transactions will become not only less 'optional' but more normalized socially, particularly as younger generations take over more areas of public life, simply because of cost-savings. Nobody will want to fund or pay for 'wasteful' physical interactions that are unnecessary."

An anonymous respondent said, "Every time security is increased for online transactions, vulnerabilities are created and exploited."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "People will not have a choice. Online/automated/precast dealings will be involuntary. One possible new future 'job' role: Personal Interactive Consultant (PIC). Someone who specializes in knowing you and your family in order to more effectively interface with companies/corporations/government. Kind of like we used to use travel agents and insurance brokers, and even lawyers, the PIC works as our advocate in order to get something done within an industry or institution that would otherwise be beyond the average person's ability or convenience level. The PIC probably would not be able to handle all interactions themselves, the PIC would likely be a hired face to a large company with specialized resources to handle all types of inquiries and interactions. Let's call it a Lifestyle Information Management company (LIM). There already are PICs today, but on a smaller scale. And maybe LIMs already exist in some rudimentary form."

An anonymous principal security consultant noted, "People are likely to trust systems for online payments and similar interactions because they will not have any other realistic choice. The use of these systems will likely be expected in many interactions in the future. However, in the next decade, it seems unlikely that the systems will be significantly more secure than they are currently without a major push from all involved parties. A number of new technologies are being rolled out to improve a number of areas of security, but they frequently fall victim to the same flaws that have been in software for decades already. Security will improve, but attacks will improve. It seems likely that systems will be engineered to more gracefully handle such issues: for example, making it easy to change your credit card number. This will improve ease of use when systems fail, but won't necessarily engender *more* trust. Bitcoin and other blockchain-based systems have their benefits, but it does not seem likely that any one blockchain will see massive adoption over the next decade, unless there are significant improvements (particularly in storage requirements and reaction times)."

An anonymous respondent said, "The maturity of mobile systems will allow us to judge systems by their reputation."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will be strengthened because there's money to be made from secure transactions."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "I am not sure about this—perhaps for some trust will be enhanced, but for many others it will be diminished. There could be a widening social divide caused by the spread of these technologies—how great, I have no idea."

An anonymous faculty member at a large university commented, "People are very poor at risk assessment, and are desperate to communicate with one another. In general, short product lifetimes ('fads') will allow connection-addicted users to stay ahead of the massive hacks that destroy each system in turn. This applies to brand apps as much as it does social media. As for shopping, convenience will always trump security, and short-attention-span consumers now have brand loyalties driven solely by the associated perceived social status. Quality and value are irrelevant; why would security matter?"

An anonymous respondent commented, "As people use online tools for more of their customary activities, they will unconsciously come to rely on these technologies, thereby, trusting them uncritically."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Habit and familiarity will make the now-still-visible and therefore somewhat frightening technology invisible, and therefore trusted without thought."

An anonymous respondent said, "There's great positive potential for healthcare and for civic engagement. Also, the more prevalent this stuff is, the more trusting people are of it."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "There's a lot of both good and bad things that happen in an online world. It feels like the sophistication and frequency of hacking, attacking, etc., is going way up, but—on the flip side—it feels as if people are becoming numb to the issues and continuing on (e.g., because they're not 'directly' bearing the cost if their credit card is stolen, etc.)."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "As we continue to interact with the Internet, our privacy will not be safeguarded and continued breaches will continue to erode trust. People will use it anyway, to the extent that it suits them, as one does not have to participate in the Internet for their data to be breached."

An anonymous respondent replied, "It is becoming clear that the norms that governed social interactions do not scale to the technologically mediated social networking we use today. One cannot, for instance, have any faith in secrecy of digital correspondence, even in a trusted human partner, because so many of us use technologies that necessitate a third party to have access to metadata and often content, as a product of that transaction. Apps that upload address books to servers and email providers that read email have become the norm. Third parties inserting themselves into our social interactions, and our readily accepting that as normal is a telling thing for trends to come."

An anonymous literary translator commented, "The Internet has become more and more centralized and commercialized. People already mistrust it much more than they did 10 years ago, and that will continue."

An anonymous respondent noted, "We are **** slaves. Open your **** eyes."

An anonymous author and communications analyst commented, "Trust is far more easily lost than gained, and I could very easily see this answer going either way. It wouldn't take much for people to completely lose faith in conducting their business online—financial damage as a result of insufficient security would be a massive blow."

An anonymous senior research scholar at a major university's digital civil society lab replied, "The business of commerce depends on 'just enough trust'—the incentives are aligned to keep just enough trust in place."

An anonymous respondent replied, "The change will be in the dynamism of trust, not the valence. We will place small amounts of trust in people and organizations and exit or voice more quickly when we sense it has been violated."

An anonymous respondent said, "Corporations will strive to improve their brand impact, and their online security is emphasized with, 'We take security very seriously.' E-commerce sales are on the increase today, and there is no end in site (I could cite multiple sources)."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "The general public trust in these systems will grow with respect to all the sectors named above, but the question of whether such trust will be deserved, or sheer credulity, remains to be seen. Call it trust by default, in the same way we are powerless to criticize a surgeon's or airline pilot's technical maneuvers."

An anonymous respondent said, "More people are likely to be skeptical of commercial services and their ownership of user data. This will particularly affect economic transactions, including banking."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Unless there are serious advances in security, we're on a tough trajectory."

An anonymous software architect wrote, "The blockchain is overblown and solves nothing that isn't already solved in some other way. Besides, it doesn't scale—when you have to have global agreement on local decisions… nope, it’s not gonna happen."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust in social media will decline, but trust in services such as banking and shopping will increase."

An anonymous data center technician noted, "The banking system has failed us. The oligarchs have failed. The number of people outraged will increase. The number of people who will not stand for governments recording records of every transaction every human makes will increase."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Flawless identity verification is the holy grail of online services. Until that exists, there will be "mattress stuffers" who do not trust online services for banking, health care, etc."

An anonymous devops engineer replied, "Data breaches and malware will continue to undermine trust."

An anonymous information security manager replied, "Unfortunately, it will be strengthened since the majority of users are not IT-savvy on issues of privacy and surveillance. This is why all elected officials should be taking a more responsible approach as the advocates for their citizens rather than simply parroting the greatness of high technology in fighting terrorism."

An anonymous associate professor and director of a university center for policy informatics replied, "Not only will trust be strengthened, it will be the expectation of interactions. Many people will probably have at least one negative interaction with sharing their information online, it will be important that the biggest brokers and legislators create a culture of trust as stability (similar to the government insuring banks or credit cards insuring that you will never pay for a fraudulent transaction)."

An anonymous associate professor at the University of Oslo commented, "Stronger encryption and privacy tech will strengthen trust."

An anonymous respondent observed, "I don't foresee positive or negative events that will influence this."

An anonymous public utility manager noted, "I chose the 'about the same' response because so much hinges on how privacy and secure communications might improve. I have little to no trust in mobile communications, and only feel somewhat secure online from my own router, firewall, and browser privacy add-ons. The use of blockchain and decentralized web look promising, but they are not yet a reality for me."

An anonymous respondent said, "Increasing numbers of transactions are taking place online. If there isn't an increased amount of trust then we have to live our whole lives in fear of personal and financial ruin."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Confidence in the ability of companies to secure information will increase, while there will be a decrease in the confidence that companies can be trusted to not use the information at the user's expense."

An anonymous software engineer commented, "We're just at the beginning of the use of online systems for commerce and banking globally. The system already works as well online as it does offline. There will be bumps along the way, but overall it will be mostly positive for buyers and sellers. Economic activity will be foremost, but education and healthcare will also benefit. However, the impact on political and civic life will be mostly to drive information bubbles and foster divisiveness. The blockchain is just one technology among many and its role will likely be marginal compared to the overall system."

An anonymous respondent noted, "We are all using our devices more and more. They've become integral in our lives. I don't think that will change."

An anonymous respondent said, "People will continue to help skeptical of online services as it appears that those trying to break a system always accomplish to do so in some form."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "This is impossible to predict. It will depend on how security evolves."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will be strengthened because business will HAVE TO attend to the concern that the populace has related to trust. Failing that, the businesses to don't will not survive, those that do will thrive."

An anonymous computer programmer, predicted, "The older users forced onto cell phone platforms will have a terrible time; for young users will be second-nature and seamless."

An anonymous survey participant commented, "You seem to imply a difference between 'virtual' and 'real' that I do not see. People go on with their lives using the tools they have. There are threats in the physical world as well.”

An anonymous respondent observed, "[Less trust is] the current trend."

An anonymous professor noted, "The boundary between online and offline activity is already pretty fuzzy. One effect of the widespread adoption of mobile phones and social media is that many people seem to maintain loose ties with friends and family members who they would have otherwise lost touch with. As this cohort ages, I expect that there will be surprising social effects to this relationship-maintenance."

An anonymous respondent predicted, "As more and more systems are compromised, people’s trust will diminish—especially with any system that can personally identify them. People will begin to realize it’s a matter of when not if. So anything that has information on the individual will be in question."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "As knowledge that the Internet is run by profiteers, and the system is gamed, and that it truly is—as the Pentagon has designated—a ‘combat zone’ in need of high-end security tactics that are beyond the capability of most people to comprehend, more and more people will distrust everything about it."

An anonymous respondent said, "We learn more from pain and fear. As bad things happen people learn to be wary."

An anonymous systems analyst replied, "There will be security issues, and more-spectacular hacks. This will make online bank transactions suspect."

An anonymous respondent replied, "Security for online systems and mobile interfaces is improved all the time. With the identification of backdoor vectors, and efforts to proactively identify vulnerabilities- I believe online access to companies and applications will continuously improve"

An anonymous respondent commented, " I remember the pulse-pounding fear I felt the first time I entered credit card information into a website to order something, which probably would have been in the mid-2000s. My trepidation would be laughable to a person of my socioeconomic status growing up today. In my lifetime I've seen a clear trend towards more spheres of one's life being opened up to the Internet rather than fewer, and I don't see how that genie goes back in the bottle barring some unforeseen crisis. Within my lifetime, I predict that many things I would never do online will become the norm for people younger than me. I'll be able to put a drop of blood in my computer and upload data to a web service that will tell me if I have high cholesterol or diabetes or HIV. At some point this database will be hacked and a lot of people's private information will be made public, as has happened in many other areas of the Internet. People will freak out, but continue using the service because it's convenient and has many benefits, and eventually private medical information will just enter the domain of things people know about one another. There are legitimate concerns to be addressed around government and law enforcement surveillance, but most of the compromises to our privacy are completely voluntary. Privacy just means a different, lesser thing than it used to."

An anonymous respondent said, "As younger generations who have grown up with technology get older, you will see increased trust in online interactions—whether or not that trust is deserved—because of a high level of complacency. For some of us, these online interactions have always been part of our daily lives, and we have come to see them as mundane or essential."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will continue to fluctuate, and many will simply accept the risks involved with online interactions as the cost of living in a more connected world."

An anonymous respondent observed, "A lot of people just haven't had time to get used to all of these changes yet! The experience will get more seamless and we'll all adjust. We haven't even started to see the changes that will come when we all really start taking the technology for granted."

An anonymous respondent noted, "The extent and direction in which trust develops will be determined by how much control people have over their own technological destinies. If telecoms, ISPs, device manufacturers and online service providers lock them out of control over their experience, there will be no foundation of trust on which the framework of online interactions can be built."

An anonymous respondent said, "Businesses will increasingly need to ensure that everyone is online to maintain their profit margins, so trust will become a competitive advantage."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "While security will improve over time, counter-security will also evolve, and thus, the two sides will remain about the same as now."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust is too high at present, and a correction is due."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Our government is actively sabotaging the security of these systems and very few companies are powerful or wealthy enough to stand up against that pressure. We're going to see less security, not more, as states feel pressured by the terrorism boogeyman to gather as much info as possible leaving backdoors open for hackers. It also seems like there's very little being done to protect people from identity theft and online scams targeting older people. As people hear more and more about these events happening, they'll lose trust in online shopping and online social interaction out of fear. It has already happened to my dad multiple times."

An anonymous respondent said, "As more people move their life online their privacy will disappear. There will be an acceleration of crimes based on identity theft. People will feel increasingly violated and distrustful of technology."

An anonymous respondent working in IT governance observed, "Do you notice most smart phones provide horrible phone call sound? This will get old soon."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "There will be a backlash. We've seen an increasing threat to our digital information. This includes financial and healthcare. Lord knows where other data resides behind the cloak of government monitoring. Freedoms are becoming restricted. Look for example any effort to remove your name from the governments no fly list or the assertion that you can be forced to use your fingerprint by law enforcement to access the data on your phone."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Too many of us are vulnerable to hacking, and the US government wants to make our devices more easily readable. So we'll be victims more frequently and at greater cost."

An anonymous respondent said, "In the medium term, trust will go down until standards, good governance practices, and high-quality encryption become the norm."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Security and encryptions will become stronger. People in developing countries may only use the Internet for banking purposes along with shopping online. Also with the rise of Bitcoin or other virtual currencies people may switch to these entirely as global currencies as the dollar and Euro may see to many ups and downs prompting a more stable currency."

An anonymous respondent replied, "I expect that as we go more and more online, id theft will be a constant threat. We create these processes with reactive technologies, not proactive, so the hackers will constantly be one step ahead. I don't see trust strengthening, or us winning on this one. Blockchain systems will hopefully help, but I firmly believe humans can outwit anything we come up with."

An anonymous respondent said, "As use of online interactions increases—which it will, because they are convenient—so will trust. People will trust the services they want."

An anonymous respondent commented, "People will be forced to trust whether they like it or not."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "The convenience of the Internet will outweigh the issue of trust as time goes on. That, combined with improved encryption and the emergence of blockchain will improve trust overall. However, the will likely be a period of growing pains, perhaps that is what we are experiencing now."

An anonymous PhD candidate commented, "People will continue to be comfortable. It is very difficult to remain vigilant."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Trust has been identified as an important factor for people using the Internet. As such, it is a target for development. There is no goal of increasing distrust."

An anonymous respondent predicted, "Trust will be strengthened as people become more comfortable and familiar with the new medium."

An anonymous respondent said, "People trust things more as they become more used to them, and more savvy about telling the difference between aspects of them. The more online is our natural habitat, the more the question becomes not 'do I trust online interactions as a class' but 'do I trust this particular interaction.'"

An anonymous respondent wrote, "New technologies will evolve to increase trust as an engine of economic activity provided that actions of states do not create barriers to this"

An anonymous respondent commented, "Providers of social media, retail, information, games, etc. will provide as safe an environment as possible to conduct these activities, otherwise they'll lose users. As far as interpersonal correspondences go, trusting someone online will come with the same perils as real life. Stalkers stalk, whether online or off. Abusers abuse, whether online or off. But online reporting is quickly becoming more reliable than law enforcement. It's easier to get someone banned for stalking online than to get a restraining order from law enforcement. That will go a long way towards building trust in social interactions. If someone becomes abusive or stalkerish report them and they disappear."

An anonymous software engineer wrote, "The more information that's available online, the more people are wary of its impact. This is especially heightened with the amount of times accounts of various companies get compromised. Consider how much trust there was with Internet communities back in the late '90s and early 2000s and how different that is now. Part of that may be due to the fact that people are a little bit more savvy about the Internet than they were back then, but I also think it's because there are now more people who understand how the system works and how to use it to their advantage. Oftentimes, trust will only decrease, not increase. It's hard to establish that a place is safe when it has already been proven to not be."

An anonymous respondent predicted, "Over the next decade mass surveillance will encourage more distrust of online activity."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust in online banking will go down. Trust in health care will be negative and positive. Health care is very much in the dark ages when it comes to online security, record keeping and HiPPA protection. Most doctors and nurses don't have much skill when it comes to using computers and many are actively dragging their feet on implementing changes. Also, insurance companies deliberately make things more difficult and time-consuming to enter and they use confusing and outdated computer programs and databases that are not user-friendly. From personal experience, I know they deliberately discourage startups from using their data to get better pricing for services and medicines or from making things more user-friendly. Even federally mandated data is unavailable except for in a badly physically printed stack of paper in tiny print for thousands of dollars and by the time it's made available, all the prices have changed. Trust in cultural life—opportunities have improved, but people get locked into social platforms that make certain kinds of social interaction harder (I'm looking at you, Facebook). In regard to blockchain systems, accountability might help prevent ‘griefing’ in certain online social contexts, as long as the blockchain is used as a introduction of sorts.”

An anonymous software engineer for a major online company commented, "Trust will be strengthened only because we have a generation coming up for whom that's always been the only option."

An anonymous senior design researcher wrote, "Companies will be incentivized to figure out how to instill trust in their products."

An anonymous respondent replied, "This question has too many factors. Trust for online interactions such as shopping and banking where one's financial information and identity are put at risk depends on the quality of security available. People's trust may diminish if they hear about too many hacks in the news. Trust for social interactions depends on the degree of privacy available using a particular system. Whether or not people place trust into online systems is based on whether governments will choose to embrace encryption and respect the privacy of peoples' online identities or not. If not, people will begin to trust less and the results will be negative particularly for political and cultural life."

An anonymous systems administrator commented, "The 'drug' is so good that people will use it even if they don't trust it—the platform is too deeply embedded in people's lives. I suspect that the revelations going forward will only get worse. I do think that total surveillance is the norm. I do expect that people will adapt."

An anonymous respondent said, "People's 'trust' is going to depend upon how sophisticated they are. There doesn't seem to be a huge push to make them more sophisticated, although right now the Internet is more open and so people have an opportunity to learn if they so choose. I think disclosures in PLAIN LANGUAGE should be right at the top. We are learning almost daily about the abysmal security practiced by companies large and small—even security companies. So will this knowledge diminish trust? For me, yes. For others, no, unless they become personally liable."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Even if those using mobile phones today don't trust phones and their services more than they do today, the older lot will die off and younger ones will have been raised on them and find it absurd to not use their phones for everything."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Encryption and transparency in what is being surveilled will go a long way toward restoring some trust."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Baring something exceptional happening—e.g., quantum computing rendering existing cryptography obsolete with no alternatives—nothing will change. The general public will remain largely ignorant of the systems protecting their communications; criminal organizations and states will continue to abuse and hack both the low-hanging and high-reward fruit."

An anonymous system analyst commented, "Trust is more about the people who construct the solutions than the technology. Technology can be as trustful as those who develop it.”

An anonymous respondent said, "I suspect people will come to care less and less about who's got an eye on their online activities, and that will feel like trust to them. I don't think this kind of 'trust' will be merited."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "As the older generations age (those that recall what it was like before cell phones and the Internet), the younger generations will not know any different and therefore have less reason to distrust it, barring publicized widespread security issues."

An anonymous respondent replied, "People will use the convenience until they are burned. Then some back off of use while others blithely continue."

An anonymous IT analyst based in Canada wrote, "Security in technology has been a growing interest in society's view these past few years, with major news stories from Ed Snowden to Ashley Madison making scandalous headlines. Certain government regulations require higher levels of security around healthcare and banking with the possibility of jail time for some failing to meet them with a resulting data loss (at least in Canada)."

An anonymous respondent replied, "Trust is diminished due to surveillance, both corporate and government."

An anonymous principal research programmer said, "The threats associated with the massive amounts of data collected and used by commercial aspects of the Internet are becoming more obvious with each new privacy breach. As more people are forced to confront the hidden costs of these breaches, the conveniences afforded by my online systems may become less palatable."

An anonymous respondent commented, "People know their privacy is at risk. They know they can be hacked. They trade these issues and problems for convenience. Everyone has been hacked at every level. It won't get better, and Big Brother will look at innocent people instead of the abusers, just like the TSA in regard to air travel. There’s no trust in that."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Trust might diminish, but people's love for convenience will override this distrust."

An anonymous system administrator wrote, "Commercial interactions will be digital in the future. If people trust their money to digital, it will make it easier for them to trust in a AI first-line digital therapist or teacher."

An anonymous product specialist said, "If society is empowered by knowledge and information about such tools, it will use them. It all depends on confidence."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will stay the same. The Internet offers more of everything. If you don't trust one service, you can easily put your trust in another. Distrust will always be an issue, but with more options, people will be more likely to put their trust into something rather than just forego the entire experience altogether. All factors listed (economic, political, cultural, civic, educational, etc.) will be greatly affected. With the Internet, people have more choice in where they get their education and news. They choose who they get to interact with, defining their own culture. Don't like your present situation? The Internet will inform and give you options. As long as the Internet continues this, trust will remain the same."

An anonymous state employee replied, "This will depend heavily on the rate at which people are victimized, online versus brick-and-mortar retailers. If credit cards and personal information are stolen at both institutions at the same rate it will remain the same. If these are stolen less at one or the other than the perception will be swayed in that direction. Media coverage will also play heavily into the perception of safety."

An anonymous business analyst observed, "Trust isn't the fundamental issue, access is the fundamental issue. There are large segments of the population that will get access to cellular phone based services such as banking, etc. that they cannot access now. That the service is trusted is less important than actually getting any sort of access will be."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Perhaps you should also consider the intuitive prejudices this question displays."

An anonymous senior software developer said, "The more people grow up with this technology the more people will find it natural to do everything online. The term 'online' will become meaningless overtime, as we get to an always-connected world. The Internet will be used like electricity in the developed world. It just is there and is how things are done. But even with electricity there are power tools that not everyone uses."

An anonymous respondent said, "Sadly, there is not enough skepticism on the part of users for the present level of security. Trust has to drop before security will be properly addressed."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "The dystopian, tiered future of science-fiction is going to be considered a quaint underestimation. There will be a hated elite of genuinely computer literate people who will be relied upon to maintain the oligarchical power structure we have now. Blockchain? You are talking gibberish to most people."

An anonymous professor of telecommunications and law predicted, "Greed and the quest for more market share, etc. will drive ever-intrusive strategies."

An anonymous respondent said, "If organizations like the NSA and the FBI in the US are more concerned with hacking foreigners than they are with defending America's infrastructure, and other organizations overseas follow their approach as an example of 'best practice,' then the number and severity of data breaches will only increase. When people start having their thermostats changed or their heat shut off by hackers in the depths of winter (or turned on full blast in summer), people will stop trusting the Internet."

An anonymous respondent commented, "I personally find myself being drawn out of the digital realm not further into it. I don't trust corporate America's values, especially those whose products are digitally based (Apple, Google, Facebook, and the huge list goes on). I don't trust government as it gobbles up every bit of our data it possibly can. If I can incorrectly be detained as a suspected terrorist upon returning home to the US, and I was, I simply don't trust these systems. They fail to work properly. They can too easily be manipulated for nefarious intent or to enrich the über wealthy. I mean, are we really going to trust democratic elections to digital machines? Really? I've had to replace my credit cards four times over the past six years because of data breaches. I have loved and depended on my digital tools for just about everything. But I find myself exploring ways to stop using them because of a lack of trust and privacy. And I don't have anything really to hide! Damn, I even pay my taxes. Online."

An anonymous technical director wrote, "The arms race that is security on the Internet will enter a golden age of default encryption that will help normal citizens trust their transactions.”

An anonymous respondent observed, "Overall trust will probably continue to rise, but probably more out of indifference and ease of use more so than the actual trustworthiness of the entities people do business with."

An anonymous respondent noted, "There was initially a lot of unfounded distrust when the concepts were new. As time has passed and people are becoming more familiar with the technology, the initial unfounded distrust is generally being replaced with a better-founded skepticism based out of a greater understanding of where the real threats in the systems are."

An anonymous respondent said, "As the boomer generation slowly ages out and Gen Y and Gen Z generations become more influential, we will see a greater increase in trust and use of technology. Political and civic life will have a huge and mostly positive impact from this as people find new and easy ways to research information and communicate safely with others. Cultural life will also have a huge positive impact. As it becomes easier to see and communicate with people from other countries religions, and walks of life culture will become more open to these other ideas."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "We have strong encryption now. As more powerful computers come online that challenge our current level of encryption security, we will just need to use longer keys. The increased processing power of longer encryption keys will be more than offset by the increase in computing power to keep people generally safe. The biggest challenge will come from ensuring that the processes used by the trusted systems are fully reviewed and do not contain backdoors required by governments. As in the previous question, we need open processes and communication. Secrecy is for the data inside the messages, not for the process that is supposed to keep our secrets."

An anonymous respondent said, "I expect that people will realize how insecure these systems are, as more and more people fall victim to corporate data security failures. I personally do not bank or shop on my phone (not even with my VPN running). I do not use any social media that does not permit me to do so anonymously. I don't anticipate that changing. If anything, I anticipate I will become even less engaged in these systems. My transactions should not be anyone's data."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will go down but the usage will go up anyway. People are not rational actors when it comes to complex trade-offs between convenience and threats."

An anonymous respondent said, "Although trust will be diminished by hackers and leaks, people will freely embrace the ability to engage in these transactions. So many business and government services are shifting to these models that it's impossible to resist and Generation Z (1997 and afterish) will have grown up using them. They will be part of the fabric of their lives and won't even question them."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Expect more-spectacular crimes."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Things are easier for me to accomplish on my phone. I get directions to a business, check the hours, and can even pay for purchases using my phone. I take surveys with my phone, earn, and spend credit all on my phone. Can I vote with my phone? Can my identity be taken if my phone is lost? I fear these negative possibilities."

An anonymous respondent replied, "The trust will be strengthened but in many places will be blind much like we trust that the water coming out of our taps is clean."

An anonymous community advocate said, "We're already working on trust-based networks and social currency. Maybe widespread trust will be harder to earn, and certainly a distrust of centralized resources (e.g., Facebook), but in the future we should have more access to data to base our decisions on, socially and otherwise."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "People will continue to turn a blind eye to the real threats and fear the bogeyman."

An anonymous professor commented, "Trust will be strengthened because security will be strengthened."

An anonymous technical writer replied, "Your current 12-to-25-year-old person lives through their phone. Ten years from now they will be 22-to-35-year-old persons. And those of us who are currently in the 25-35 bracket and nearly as attached will be 35-45 and still attached. It's not a distrust in online services that keeps people away. It's that apps and the mobile Web are still often clunky or not as useful as doing some things in person. People will gravitate to whatever is easiest, cheapest, and most reliable. When state and local government services are reliably operating on apps and the mobile Web, people will use them there."

An anonymous survey participant wrote, "We will trust technology with our private information. We love the ease of it too much not to. An example: My boyfriend doesn't carry cash; ever. Cards, phone apps—people prefer comfort over trust. It's too easy to say 'it won't happen to me' when it comes to identity theft or other issues. People will take precautions; like wearing a seat belt in a car, and there might even be government regulation, just like seat belts; but even with thousands of deaths on the road—we still drive cars."

An anonymous freelance consultant observed, "Trust will be strengthened if and only if the door is opened to effective, open-source security, and corporate and government liability for security negligence. Current trends are the opposite, making security research illegal with the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement) and other trade deals, DRM (Digital Rights Management), etc. Transparency is necessary. We've known for centuries that markets are only effective when there is trust backed up by rule of law. When laws prevent effective security, we destroy trust and thus destroy markets. We're on the wrong path."

An anonymous US government employee said, "Security and availability are in an arms race. As the risks and benefits grow, trust will diminish and will be balanced by more products and services offering security."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will be diminished, but adoption will still increase, albeit reluctantly."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Until we have identities that cannot be 'stolen' online we will only have more problems leading to less trust. Maybe blockchain could do it, but the resistance from the large existing financial institutions will be too large for a new normal to develop until we have fundamental change in our economic structure."

An anonymous respondent replied, "I hope trust in these systems will be reduced—again it's about intent in the implementation of these systems."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The impact of online fraud and various forms of online damage will continue to grow. This will tend to undermine people's willingness to trust online."

An anonymous senior security engineer wrote, "There will be an ongoing period of distrust which will last for some time until Snowden is forgotten and the frequency of data breaches diminishes. The media are constantly reporting why cybersecurity doesn't work, and that will fuel mistrust in sharing sensitive/personal data online."

An anonymous respondent said, "Security will improve, if slowly. Health, education, economics will migrate more to the handheld platform."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "If security is enhanced, people will trust and use tech more. If security is deliberately weakened to serve government or corporate ends, people will be less trusting of tech."

An anonymous operations officer said, "Increased adoption of insecure protocols will create some new rashes of exploitation, some potentially catastrophic, but those will lead to new procedures for increased security."

An anonymous devops engineer commented, "There will always be flaws. Some people hear of a flaw getting fixed and lose trust in a system they probably should've been more wary of. Some see the flaws getting fixed as a sign of improvement in a flawed system."

An anonymous respondent said, "Trust may stay the same but ignorance of security will grow. People now know all about the NSA bulk email scrapings but virtually no one outside of IT circles has pursued cryptographic solutions."

An anonymous senior software developer replied, "Most people don't even think about the issue of trust when it comes to online interactions. They take for granted that they're safe... until they're not, which happens increasingly frequently. But because there's no real separation between the anti-security measures used by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and a growing subculture of cyber-criminals, measures to make people more aware of online threats will be suppressed."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The question is too broad to be answerable."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust may diminish or stay the same. The necessity of accessing online/mobile transactions will outweigh the trust question for most."

An anonymous user-experience designer said, "Trust is a funny thing, more a function of psychology and perception than of technology. While the Internet is getting incrementally more secure, I suspect most people believe it to be far more secure than it is. Their trust will be strengthened, but probably at a quicker pace than the technology warrants. As for the impact, there's a certain equilibrium at which people are happy with just enough online commerce and no more. There will always be people who prefer stores and meat-space interactions."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "If economic justice is addressed in meaningful ways, trust will increase. Until then, trust will remain about the same. Educational initiatives aimed at rebuilding trust also seem lacking. Workplace trust appears diminished, given the lack of mutual loyalty in most jobs, as well as the economic disparities between those at the top and those actually delivering the products and services. Culture is about the only area where I see change for the better."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The more people use things the more they trust them. Barring a calamity, trust will increase."

An anonymous director of business appraisal observed, "While security may well be diminished or compromised (as with governments' insistence on cryptographic backdoors), guarantees (such as what is done with credit cards currently), and regulation can mitigate the risks."

An anonymous IT director noted, "Ten years is a long time and progress is always forward, not backward. Innovations in security will hopefully happen to ensure strengthened trust."

An anonymous respondent said, "Transactions will be routinely performed online. At the end of the day, this is about trust in the company that one is dealing with and in their online presence, and less about online technology in the abstract—there will be shady players online, just as there are offline. Blockchain is an overhyped means of facilitating transactions—the ends are what matter here, and blockchain may be a useful enabling tool. Social interactions will continue to be a mix—they will never move entirely online, but the role of online interactions and communities will continue to increase."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Business transactions will be strengthened if we get sensible about encryption; social interactions weakened because online interactions are weak.”

An anonymous technology analyst at Cisco observed, "We will have more anonymizing tools, so our activity will be less public than today. The greatest impact is that the fracturing of my identity for each participation in my life will have its own authority over related circumstances."

An anonymous president at a consultancy company said, "Partly the trust problem is a fear of being conned; the other part is that current generation of older people are not computer-savvy. This will change."

An anonymous expert on the social effects of mass communication wrote, "Trust will be strengthened, but that trust is not well-justified or verifiable."

An anonymous associate professor at a state university observed, "Trust ultimately boils down to trust in people. And as the number of people who join online activities grow, it will become more and more difficult to determine who to trust, and how to build that trust into architectures."

An anonymous university professor said, "Many businesses have not taken responsible steps to manage customer data, and the more data that companies collect, the more of a target that they become for hackers. An increasing number of data breaches will help educate consumers about the data that they entrust with companies and the lack of security around these data."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "More consumers will be affected by widespread data leaks and will come to distrust apps and websites that require sharing personal information."

An anonymous respondent commented, "There's nothing like face-to-face relationship building."

An anonymous digital manager said, "Unless we make a concerted effort, trust will go down, especially trust in organizations. The Internet is all about authenticity."

An anonymous professor commented, "Inevitably, there will be increased hacking and identify theft. Well-publicized cases will reduce trust."

An anonymous CTO commented, "The trend is upwards, I don't see any reason for that to change."

An anonymous open source technologist observed, "The emergence of companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple is indicative of the great trust people already place in these organizations and the online world. This will grow as better governance, systems, and software take hold."

An anonymous chair for computing at a Silicon Valley think tank wrote, "Templeton: Trust will be strengthened even though that may be an unjustified trust. Our systems are today extremely insecure and we trust them, and those who are not using them are not staying away because of trust. Also, I think billions more will come online, not hundreds of millions. Biggest impacts will be in economic activity and cultural life."

An anonymous senior technology architect at a Canadian telecommunications provider commented, "If there is a significant change in the perceived trust people are willing to give, it will be incremental at best. In large part I expect this because, if anything, the generation coming up now has even less reason to trust the Internet than the older generation does. Their day-to-day experience is of friends having accounts hacked, of having personal information leaked, of large organizations and governments being compromised. There will be no basis for them to believe that access to their health records online or paying with their phone is natively more secure than it was. That doesn't mean they won't do it. You may see greater adoption rates, but people may also partition themselves and their transactions in other ways. It will require a sea change in the IT industry to significantly improve security. Privacy can't be expected to improve without this change, although an improvement in privacy is not a given. The status quo is a state of nearly constant compromise, which is more or less what we have now. Sadly, increased surveillance is almost easier to implement than this improvement in security. More than that, it's easier to comprehend. There is a net downside to adding monitoring, although improvements in detection and response to breaches may appear to outweigh it."

An anonymous respondent noted, "There's a lot of distrust floating around and solutions will have to be, at least partially, political ones."

An anonymous technology writer said, "The late adapters will find that yesterday's analog services are no longer offered. They'll be forced to trust in other methods since there's no alternative. I expect the cellphone as a device to be obsolesced by some other media innovation, but it's hard to understand what that might be. It might be a chance to start over with a new and purpose-built structure of online interaction that's less frail and corrupt than the ones we have now."

An anonymous chief marketing officer wrote, "It shows in the momentum of acquisition. Statistics demonstrate that younger people are much more confident about it. As time goes by and technology improves—then so will these same people be more willing to pursuit more activities online."

An anonymous professor at a Sri Lankan university noted, "As the importance of the Internet increases, trust mechanisms will improve accordingly. In particular, I think clients (phones and computers) will have more features to ensure trust."

An anonymous professor said, "People's trust is built exclusively on perception. Increased experience with a thing gives them greater trust, even when it is not deserved. So long as Internet retailers and other sites improve their capacity to avoid hackers, there will be greater trust simply by the fact that more people will have to participate in the online economy."

An anonymous principal scientist at a large software company wrote, "They will trust more, but in reality there will be less trustfulness. I expect that there will be essentially no privacy in the future."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Newcomers will be trusting, and the trust of people who have been burned will diminish. This is especially going to be true of Americans who have little government protection for their data and so have seen their identities and information compromised. I am excited about blockchain, but can only imagine financial uses. Real applications will overcome my lack of imagination."

An anonymous professor at a polytechnic institute wrote, "Targeted attacks will continue, and they will be very hard to prevent. But security will get better against more widespread attacks."

An anonymous respondent observed, "Twenty years ago the Web was really the Wild West. You never knew what to trust. Now there are largely trusted intermediaries like Google and Mozilla that block or identify many threats. This trend will strengthen over the coming decade."

An anonymous professor of sociology observed, "The potential for fraud, misinformation, and deception online are tremendous. I have very little trust in online interactions at present and my level of trust continues to decline."

An anonymous professor of humanities wrote, "This I see as heavily related to hacking and the present indifference to regulating algorithms we see today."

An anonymous senior lecturer in computing based in Australia said, "I can see trust continuing to diminish as more people get bitten by scams. While one of my students who may have invented Bitcoin built safeguards into its blockchains, it is easy for those who have little faith in science and mathematics to come to distrust them. Politics is influenced by the trust placed in commentators who admit privately that they don't tell the truth because it doesn't sell."

An anonymous respondent noted, "Trust in these services will diminish dramatically until either a large segment of the world population stops using certain services or a catastrophic hack adversely impacts a large swath of the population. After that, a series of lawsuits will decimate those service providers and lead to an overhaul in how online services provide security services for the data being shared. As more and more services appear online, there is an ever-growing loss of control of personal information. The companies offering or moving services online appear to be less willing to clearly articulate how they use or protect personal information. Additionally, current history has shown that services that house personal information are ripe targets for hackers and thieves."

An anonymous research and evaluation director at a major university wrote, "People are going to have fewer and fewer choices for non-online transactions and will have to come into the cybermarket fold. The security providers will have to stay one step ahead of the thieves."

An anonymous designer commented, "Cell phones are more secure and more likely to be trusted by people, as they carry the phone with them. This will affect all aspects of life. Blockchain is just one option and not that important."

An anonymous directing manager observed, "Blockchain will enable secure transactions in currencies, as well as data. Social reputation will also continue to influence who one chooses to do business with."

An anonymous technical analyst noted, "We already trust too much in comparison with the risks, and only a major betrayal or a set of betrayals will get us to rethink our trust."

An anonymous respondent said, "People will eventually come to accept that they will be excluded from mainstream economic life and from good health care and education if they are outside the online world. And one hopes that security to protect privacy will also improve such that people will come to trust the systems more. However, it is likely that a growing group will live off the grid, never trusting that they will be protected in this environment."

An anonymous program director at the US National Science Foundation commented, "It is already part of the background fabric of our lives, and so will go on unquestioned except when things break. Some of the security must improve, both through technology and education."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Unless there is a major change, trust will remain the same."

An anonymous technical director replied, "It's important to note that people profoundly distrust computers today, but still use them in very large numbers for increasingly significant life-changing steps: buying a house, finding a partner, etc. Trust is unlikely to shift significantly (software is hard, and bad actors will continue to exploit that fact), but more and more of our lives will shift to smaller screens anyway."

An anonymous executive director at a national center for digital knowledge wrote, "We are becoming more dependent on access anytime and anywhere. Companies are spending an increased amount of dollars on security and security companies are developing solutions. I imagine that more threats will be created that will require different solutions but overall I believe there will be a group of people that will trust the technology and securities and a group that will not. The trajectory for trust will most likely stay the same over the next 10 years."

An anonymous associate professor of political science at a state university wrote, "Technological developments will fix the security problems of the Internet."

An anonymous professor at a large university commented, "Trust has been strengthened. People compare today to 1968. Three civil rights workers buried in a dam were murdered and buried in part by a cop who was in the Klan. Things are getting better. That you asked about blockchains makes this the canonical 2016 survey."

An anonymous senior research director at a state university observed, "Who knows how it will go?"

An anonymous professor of media production and theory said, "This is very complex. I, like many people, engage in vast numbers of transactions globally. We will see more of that on every level. I have done a lot of work/research in Africa, where the phone starts to take on the task of many institutions, from hospitals to banks. I am particularly excited to see increased transparency in government in online contexts. The big problem is that on all fronts, our increased trust is easily taken advantage of by those who provide platforms, pay for information about our activity, etc. Until there is some kind of real 'online bill of rights' I see this increased action as perilous, as potentially devastating as the advent of industrial society was to working people in the 19th century. On the other hand, in my own work, 'the pursuit of knowledge,' the effect of using the Internet has increased my ability to research and theorize, as well as to share with colleagues by something over an order of magnitude."

An anonymous chair of the board at a futures studies association wrote, "Collective intelligence will lead to strengthened trust in shopping and in political realms."

An anonymous director of research at a European futures organization said, "Security and privacy concerns aren't being addressed."

An anonymous professor emeritus wrote, "Education and health care will become Internet-centric once we refine use of the Internet for these fields. Internet will now help bring culture to the millions."

An anonymous respondent commented, "There is no indication that serious security challenges are being successfully addressed by governments and industry. Increased dependency on online systems will eventually collide with the harsh reality of inadequate security. Awareness among the general public will only increase, reducing trust."

An anonymous respondent observed, "As people learn about the limited nature of privacy online, they will become more distrustful."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Security over cell networks will be improved so banking and health care information will remain secure and trusted."

An anonymous respondent said, "Security will increase as technology develops."

An anonymous researcher and instructor at a technical university commented, "All areas of life will be impacted. Change is difficult for most people. If some are used to going to the bank and getting their money, and then the bank does away with human tellers, then those people will be at a loss. You have to convince them to change their way of life. Some people still like doing their shopping face-to-face or would like to meet other people the old-fashioned way. But if most people, for instance, are meeting their life partners online, and people hear more of that, they will be compelled to try it."

An anonymous thought leader observed, "This will become a path of least resistance as a generation raised with the technology overtakes those who were not."

An anonymous researcher at a state university said, "As security technology increases and as people become more normalized to online transactions sales of goods and services online will increase and likely increase sales across borders and even greater globalization of the service industry. This could have increasingly negative impacts for local brick and mortar businesses, but is also likely to help drive down costs."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "People with negative intentions will always be ahead of the positive intentions."

An anonymous professor at a public university observed, "We are just at the dawn of developing digital commercial and social applications and there are a number of implementation innovations that need to be developed to improve the experience and increase security. However, the commercial viability of these applications will drive improvements to increase consumer use of these systems. The applications will be too convenient for most consumers to miss out on and they will become the primary way we do business, shop, and engage in social organization."

An anonymous respondent replied, "Balance will be positive as very large numbers of people currently without Internet get access and start using it, often for the purposes mentioned. This will outweigh fewer, more-experienced users losing trust."

An anonymous media industry technology consultant said, "As young people continue to begin using online technology, the use of and trust in these interactions will increase. It will be second nature for them to use the online versions of these tools. Blockchain systems may help increase the trust, but these systems will need to be better integrated into existing (and new) online services. Time will increase the trust level—as long as these systems are not compromised and continue to work as 'advertised,' peoples' trust in them will increase."

An anonymous professor at a public research university wrote, "We will get better at cybersecurity."

An anonymous respondent said, "Trust, if a result of necessary dependence, will leave no choice."

An anonymous respondent commented, "Trust will be increased if technologies such as blockchain are adopted more and more. Trust will be increased if governments put in place policies for consumer protection, data protection, etc.”

An anonymous senior researcher wrote, "Interaction with mobile activities, such as banking and shopping, will continue to grow. And, as services improve, trust will also improve. It is a lesson to civic and political leaders that government institutions could also utilize these methods to further improve trust in their institutions. Introducing e-government systems and holding out the possibility of online democracy will only improve trust in governments. If they remain ignorant of new technologies, they are more likely to fall prey to competition, as newspapers and retailers have over the past decade."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Online activities will increase even if trust does not increase."

An anonymous associate professor at MIT observed, "Trust is correlated to length of relationships and frequency of interactions. Online social links will strengthen during the next decade."

An anonymous founder and executive chairman replied, "Convenience will trump fear, but fear will demand controls that will slowly improve and mitigate risks."

An anonymous developer said, "As more knowledge is captured digitally, digital knowledge stores will become more authoritative and trustworthy."

An anonymous chief scientist emeritus at a major technology innovation organization wrote, "Irrespective of whether security improves, users will flock to online services."

An anonymous deputy CEO replied, "Trust levels will increase as people will become more and more used to the digital platforms in their lives. This doesn't mean trust will be strengthened, rather that a misplaced trust will be widespread. The increase in the use of mobile apps—i.e., low-functionality programs that run on small-screen devices—that frequently do not implement sufficient security in their operation does not help matters. As more economic activity takes place on mobile apps, the cost will go up, as the levels of fraud will only increase. I hope this will change."

An anonymous respondent replied, "Eventually all these should be impacted but in the next 10 years I think economic activity will have the most impact. The free flow of capital is already a global reality, so the systems that facilitate and secure this will likely be the first to be prioritized."

An anonymous professor of information and history at a state university said, "For commercial purposes, trust will increase simply because people become used to it. Some kinds of goods, especially clothing and food, will remain with retail stores, but many others will see online shopping become an ever-higher percentage of sales. Health care will be improved, and eventually (but not soon) will become cheaper as kinks in EPRs [electronic patient records] are ironed out. For some users, sophistication will increase, and for most users, access to higher-quality knowledge will improve their lives. Negative implications of this trust in online interaction are already apparent: increased belief in conspiracy theories, distrust in government (despite greater transparency), the 'echo chamber' effect in which climate change and vaccine denialists continue to circulate false facts. I don't think blockchain systems or digital currencies will expand much further; for one thing, they are very costly in terms of energy use."

An anonymous professor at Stanford University commented, "Developers of mobile applications will insure that trust issues are addressed if they do adequate demographic 'due diligence.'"

An anonymous respondent observed, "This is an arms race against hackers. There have already been huge breaches, and confidence has remained roughly the same. Loss of privacy is a big issue. It is unclear how this will play out. The privacy implications of growth in the Internet of Things are huge."

An anonymous respondent replied, "The right people can still deliver better service. In 30 years time, with complex AI, this question will be more relevant. We are seeing the quality of trust in systems decreasing due to privacy or programming issues delivering suboptimal results, and a certain flatness is building in the use of tech as compared with the excitement we have seen in it over the past 15 years."

An anonymous respondent said, "In terms of hacking, it seems that the arms race between data pirates and security efforts has led to fairly stable balance over time. In terms of abuse of data by 'authorized' holders, I don't think most people are really that worried about it—though I suspect they should be more worried."

An anonymous social scientist wrote, "The alternatives to online interactions will grow more costly, inconvenient, and perhaps dangerous than the security and superiority of consumer choice offered online."

An anonymous professor at New York University commented, "We are always more moved by disappointment than achievement, so cybercrime stories attract a great deal of attention, but customer use of online commerce grows every year, and the premium for defending that revenue grows as well."

An anonymous user-experience manager observed, "There will always be concerns and issues, but as these activities become more and more common, they will be seen as the norm and more widely accepted. This said, there will always be a more resistant segment, including those who are especially wary, on one hand, and those who want to hold onto and prioritize in-person interactions, on the other."

An anonymous professor emeritus of history wrote, "I expect a continual war between Web security firms and criminals along the lines already established in many sports where the abilities of dopers and anti-doping agencies seesaw with no end in sight."

An anonymous respondent at the US Department of Defense observed, "I work for a Navy cyber organization, so I'm aware of the concerns today. And, as a classic Gen-X person, I am naturally aloof and untrusting. That said, people sold their personally identifiable information a long time ago with Google, Netflix, Twitter, etc. The genie is out of the bottle for most with regard to the interest of 'privacy.'"

An anonymous respondent replied, "Trust really isn't there anyway, and this normality is really what most people operate on. They might say trust is important if someone says something but mostly they are just doing their normal practice and only change when it radically changes."

An anonymous respondent said, "Each advancement will be met with new threats."

An anonymous professor of digital media at an Australian university wrote, "The retreat from the open Web and the turn to closed-app ecosystems—and possibly the blockchain although I'm still skeptical—will create a sense of trust and safety. But the Internet will be a less open and diverse environment. Facebook will be as likely to control it as distributed system like blockchain."

An anonymous respondent commented, "The Snowden revelations unveiled the ways in which data collection online leaves people susceptible to government surveillance. But trust in commercial systems is not only open to government snooping but also vulnerable as it is unregulated data in the hands of private corporations. A few data leaks from now, no one will want to buy anything on their phones."

An anonymous respondent observed, "The overall visibility of private financial transactions will become more trust-able. As a result, self-managed financial activity will grow more prevalent."

An anonymous associate professor at the Université Abdou Moumouni said, "In future society an ordinary citizen will want to benefit from all relevant services (education, health, security, etc.). To sustain this environment, its growth relies on trust."

An anonymous research psychologist wrote, "IT security continues to evolve along with the demand and the associated threats."

An anonymous chairman and CEO at a non-profit organization commented, "The answer can go either way. Greater online hacking and cyber-terrorism could dampen and even discourage our confidence and trust."

An anonymous respondent observed, "There are two sides. One, the protection mechanisms will get stronger and people will be more accustomed to these transactions. Also the younger generations will just do this as a matter of course, so trust will improve. On the other hand, the hacking systems and such will get stronger, such that there will be many ways to get into someone's data. The more secure the data, the more sophisticated hackers will have to be. And that's dangerous."

An anonymous professor replied, "The opening of this question does not set up a question about trust, but points to a question about inequality in access and that is a greater problem. The inequality in Internet access contributes to other social and economic inequalities."

An anonymous engineer at Neustar said, "I'm working on some of the mechanisms I think will increase trust. It's possible they will not be deployed, or they may be deployed badly. I'm sure we will have spectacular failures. But we know how to secure interactions, and if this is implemented widely and correctly (both questionable, but I have hope), we should be able to make things better than they are now."

An anonymous respondent wrote, "I am filling this out over a VPN. I am not the usual Internet user; I am also running a TOR exit node. I think many people are unaware of the surveillance they are undergoing."

An anonymous respondent commented, "There's really no choice, trust must increase. Why are we attacking encryption again?"

An anonymous respondent said, "I don't really understand the premise of the question. Do you really think hundreds of millions of people won't go online because of trust issues?"

An anonymous respondent wrote, "Trust will be strengthened out of necessity. As more activity moves to these arenas, people will have no choice but to follow. Even if the systems are not actually more trustworthy, more people will put their trust in them because they have no other meaningful choice."

If you wish to read the full survey report with analysis, click here:
http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2016_survey/Trust_in_Internet_Activities.xhtml

To read credited survey participants' responses with no analysis, click here:
http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2016_survey/Trust_in_Internet_Activities_credit.xhtml