We don’t trust the internet. And it’s putting our digital future at risk

Digital technology is a defining feature of modern life. In 2016, there were 3.4 billion internet users and 3.8 billion unique mobile users. On average, people spend six hours a day online.

This may be just the beginning. New ways to plug into digital life – such as virtual reality and the internet of things – are arriving quickly, and promise a whole new level of sophistication: the race is on to teach software how to read our emotions, anticipate our actions and make decisions on our behalf. As such tools become increasingly embedded in daily life, people will need to trust the technologies and the companies behind them more than ever before.

This year, the Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual survey that measures global levels of trust in institutions, revealed the steepest drop ever seen in the public’s trust in governments, businesses, media and NGOs.

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