Automated Trust

Why is trust essential?

Mutually perceived trust among the parties involved is a decisive factor for concluding a contract. In a company, building trust is part of risk management. Formal criteria are used in a structured process to decide whether potential contract partners are sufficiently trustworthy. Only when trustworthiness is found to be sufficient can a successful business relationship be established. But how can trust be created if the business relationship is established by software agents? In the »Industry 4.0 Legal Testbed«, it is the objective to clarify business, legal and security requirements for building trust in the context of automated process flows.

As of January 2021, Legal Testbed began exploring the topic of automated trust management. How can trust be made tangible and managed in an automated way?

The relevant data about potential contract partners, which provides information about their trustworthiness, is stored in so-called trustworthiness profiles (TWP).

In order to process the information, evaluate it and, in addition, derive further actions, a software is needed that manages trust autonomously: a so-called trust agent.

By integrating trustworthiness profiles as well as trust agents, trust management can be handled in an automated way.

What are trust agents?

Information alone is not enough to initiate or execute a fully automated contract negotiation. At this point, the concept of trust agents comes into play in the form of software that manages trust independently. The management of trust comprises various aspects:

  • information procurement
  • evaluation of information
  • derivation of recommendations of action based on evaluations

Crucial to success in practice is the smooth integration of trustworthiness profiles and trust agents into automated contract management.

How can trust be formed?

Assess trustworthiness:
Rate the trustworthiness based on the retrieved information.


Seek trust building information:
Is the trustworthiness profile matching my requirements?

Provide trust:
Create and publish a trustworthiness profile.

Trust management in Legal Testbed

Due to the rising amound of automated business processes in Industry 4.0 the demand increases for automates trust building as well, that will allow the obtained results to be be directly incorporated into the automated negotiation of contracts. By expanding the research project to include the pre-contractual aspect of trust-building between (unknown) machine actors, Legal Testbed gains another valuable component.

Online-demonstrator for Trustworthiness Profiles (TWP)

In order not to hinder business relationships in the world of Industry 4.0 due to a lack of trust, a way was found in Legal Testbed how trust can also be established between machine actors. Discover our trust demonstrator now and find out more!
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