Trust in electronic markets

  • Joseph M. Reagle, Jr.
Keywords: information security, electronic commerce, cryptography, Internet security, cryptographic protocols, electronic markets, cryptographic economy, hermeneutics, Web of trust, trust theory, electronic cash, ecash, electronic money, trust managementen


Relative to information security and electronic commerce, trust is a necessary component. Trust itself represents an evaluation of information, an analysis that requires decisions about the value of specific information in terms of several factors. Methodologies are being constructed to evaluate information more systematically, to generate decisions about increasingly complex and sophisticated relationships. In turn, these methodologies about information and trust will determine the growth of the Internet as a medium for commerce.

Author Biography

Joseph M. Reagle, Jr.

Joseph Reagle is a Doctoral Fellow at NYU's Culture and Communication Department where he studies collaborative cultures, including the Wikipedia. For seven years, he was a Research Engineer at the MIT Lab for Computer Science where he served as a W3C public policy analyst and working group author and chair. He worked within the Technology & Society domain and focused on Web policy, security, privacy,and intellectual rights. He has served as a Working Group Chair and Author within the joint IETF/W3C XML Signature, XML Encryption and Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) activities. Additionally, Mr. Reagle helped develop and maintain the W3C's privacy and intellectual rights policies (i.e., copyright and trademark licenses and patent analysis).

In 1998, Mr. Reagle took a sabbatical from his responsibilities at MIT as a Resident Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at the Harvard Law School; there he worked with the faculty and students of two Harvard/MIT courses and furthered his examination of social protocols (technologies that enable the expression of sophisticated social relationships) by writing and lecturing about  Web-data schema design and contract law, computer agents and legal agency, and Internet culture and democratic/anarchist principles.

Mr. Reagle has a Computer Science degree from UMBC and a Masters from MIT's Technology and Policy Program, where he was a Research Assistant at the Research Program on Communication Policy. Mr. Reagle has done short consulting projects at Open Market (electronic commerce protocols), McCann-Erickson (Internet and interactive media) and go-Digital (Internet gambling).

How to Cite
Reagle, Jr., J. M. (1996). Trust in electronic markets. First Monday, 1(2).