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Communications of the ACM

Inside risks

Trustworthiness and Truthfulness Are Essential

Trustworthiness and Truthfulness Are Essential, illustration

Credit: Alicia Kubista / Andrij Borys Associates

Trustworthiness is an attribute that is fundamental to our technologies and to our human relations. Overly trusting something that is not trustworthy often leads to bad results. Not trusting something that really is trustworthy can also be harmful.

In many of the past 240 Inside Risks columns, we have been concerned extensively with trustworthiness, which should be a basic requirement of all computer-related systems—particularly when used in mission-critical applications, but also in personal settings such as maintaining your own quality of life. Trustworthiness is absolutely essential to the proper behavior of computers and networks, and to the well-being of entire nations and industries that rely on proper behavior of their computer-based enterprises.


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