Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 156, Issue 1, pp 21–24 | Cite as

Trust and the Online Market Maker: A Comment on Etzioni’s Cyber Trust

  • Kirsten MartinEmail author

Etzioni’s article—Cyber Trust—highlights the importance of trust for advancing economic transactions, including those online between market strangers. In this comment, I highlight the importance of acknowledging the role of such market makers in fostering trust between strangers and the importance for developers as the designers of trust fostering (or destroying) systems.

Previous online trust scholarship centers on how users trust Web sites through seals, notices, and design. The firms within the scope of Etzioni’s article foster trust in exchange-like situations, where the firm performs a matching function betweenmarket actors. Such online firms are market makers who bring together two actors: customers and sellers (eBay, Amazon, AirBnB, Uber), content and reader (Yelp, Google), or both (Facebook, Travelocity). We regularly examine how firms best display their trustworthiness to customers, users, employers, and other stakeholders. The trust relationship under consideration here is...


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Kirsten Martin declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. Bedi, S. (Forthcoming). Online dating sites as public accommodations: Facilitating racial discrimination. In S. Brison & K. Gelber (Eds.), Free speech in the digital age. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cavoukian, A. (2009). Privacy by design: The 7 foundational principles. Implementation and mapping of fair information practices. Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada.
  3. Hartzog, W., & Stutzman, F. (2013). Obscurity by design. Washington Law Review, 88, 385.Google Scholar
  4. Hauser. (2017). Reddit bans ‘Incel’ group for inciting violence against women. New York Times. Accessed November 15, 2017.
  5. Kollock, P. (1994). The emergence of exchange structures: An experimental study of uncertainty, commitment, and trust. American Journal of Sociology, 100(2), 313–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Martin, K. (2015). Privacy notices as Tabula rasa: An empirical investigation into how complying with a privacy notice is related to meeting privacy expectations online. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 34(2), 210–227. Scholar
  7. Pirson, M., Martin, K., & Parmar, B. (2016). Public trust in business and its determinants. Business and Society. Scholar
  8. Roof, K. (2017). Uber dealt with harassment class action lawsuit. TechCrunch. Accessed November 14, 2017.
  9. Rudner, R. (1953). The scientist qua scientist makes value judgments. Philosophy of Science, 20(1), 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Schwartz, K. (2017). TripAdvisor icon will identify hotels where sexual assault occurred. The New York Times. Accessed November 20, 2017.
  11. Shilton, K. (2017). Engaging values despite neutrality: Challenges and approaches to values reflection during the design of internet infrastructure. Science, Technology, and Human Values.
  12. Shilton, K., Koepfler, J. A., & Fleischmann, K. R. (2013). Charting sociotechnical dimensions of values for design research. The Information Society, 29(5), 259–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Spiekermann, S. (2012). The challenges of privacy by design. Communications of the ACM, 55(7), 38–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Spiekermann, S., & Cranor, L. F. (2009). Engineering privacy. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 35(1), 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Waldman, A. E. (Forthcoming). Designing without privacy. Houston Law Review.
  16. Wong, J. C. (2017). Richard Spencer and others lose twitter verified status under new guidelines. The Guardian. Accessed November 19, 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations