Have you ever heard the phrase; Trust, but verify? What do you think it means?
In the 1980s, former American president Ronald Reagan negotiated a treaty with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) regarding U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. This was an arms treaty that banned certain ranges of land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers belonging to both nations. The treaty required these nuclear-capable weapons destroyed by both parties.
During this period, President Reagan was known to repeatedly use the phrase “trust, but verify” to emphasize the extensive verification process that would enable both sides to monitor compliance with the treaty. After all, it is one thing to have the Soviets say the weapons were destroyed, and another thing to see that the destruction indeed happened. President Reagan trusted the Russians but adopted systems to verify that they were true to their words.
Of course, ordinarily the phrase trust, but verify might seem contradictory, especially since if you trust, you won’t exactly insist on verifying, whereas if you insist on verifying, clearly you don’t trust. However, the process of trust in itself is not complete if the parties involved do not fulfil their expected responsibilities.
The rationale behind the phrase is very relevant in this day and age, more so for individuals and businesses in the digital economy. Trust is the basis upon which every digital interaction and transaction is done.
Consumers have to trust enough to share their data with brands. Having purchased on an e-commerce platform, requested a ride, or made a bank transfer/deposit, the consumer expects that the brand always gets his permission to use the provided data and that he retains control over the use and management of the data.
The brand, on the other hand, needs to trust that the consumer who has requested the use of their product or service is genuine and has no fraudulent intent. This also means they guarantee the security of the consumer’s data and the safety of all consumers on their platform interacting with each other.
For the nascent peer-to-peer interactions, trust is even more important as P2P poses a much higher amount of uncertainty and security problems. The peers need to trust the information and reputation provided by other peers while transacting with them. Everyone needs to find a way to determine that other entities are indeed who they say they are, attended the institutions they claim to attend, worked in positions they claimed to have worked and that they are authorized to access certain resources or functionalities.
With no singular authority policing internet communities and digital interactions, it then becomes imperative to adopt the additional element of verification despite trust — establishing the validity of all participants in the digital economy. This is why Dojah has set out to build all-in-one identity verification services for individuals and businesses alike.
Trust is important in the digital economy, but trusting blindly can yield fatal outcomes. A credible verification process is essential. Businesses and individuals who ignore this expose themselves to danger. In God We Trust, Everybody Else Gets Verified on Dojah.