Trust: A collision of paradigms

L. J. Jean Camp, Helen Nissenbaum, Cathleen McGrath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The technological challenges of securing networks are great, as recently witnessed in widespread denial of service and virus attacks. The human reaction to these attacks may be either a loss of trust or a willingness to tolerate increasing risk having weathered one assault. Examining human and computer interaction with a focus on evaluations, the human response to loss of trust is a key part of the search for more secure networks. The success of current efforts to design appropriate security mechanisms depends as much on an understanding of human extensions of trust to computers as it does on an understanding of underlying mathematics. However, the former has not been sufficiently examined. In this work we survey the findings in social psychology and philosophy with respect to trust. We introduce three hypotheses that remain unanswered with respect to the manner in which humans react to computers. We discuss potential design revisions in light of findings from other disciplines. Then we conclude by noting that research which empowers users to be their own security manager may be based on a fundamentally flawed view of human-computer interaction. We close by encouraging designers of computer security systems to examine the humans, which these systems are intended to empower, and recommend that any security system be built on the basis of understanding of human trust provided by the social sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFinancial Cryptography - 5th International Conference, FC 2001, Proceedings
EditorsPaul Syverson
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)3540440798, 9783540440796
StatePublished - 2002
Event5th International Conference on Financial Cryptography, FC 2001 - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Duration: Feb 19 2001Feb 22 2001

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other5th International Conference on Financial Cryptography, FC 2001
Country/TerritoryCayman Islands
CityGrand Cayman

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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