digital trust AI identity access management

Building Digital Trust in an AI-Powered World

In today’s digitally connected world, the business landscape is constantly evolving, and the rise in AI usage is further fueling this rapid enterprise transformation. But, at the same time, the technology is exacerbating an age-old challenge for businesses: establishing and maintaining trust. In fact, nearly half of consumers (47%) don’t trust companies to use generative AI responsibly.

Thales’s 2024 Digital Trust Index uncovered an emerging trend when it comes to consumer trust and AI: despite consumers lack of trust around AI, they also believe the technology has the biggest potential to enhance their online experiences. Business leaders now must navigate identifying ways to implement AI that bring customers the experiences they want without hindering their trust.

To keep pace with shifting demands during a time when emerging technologies like AI can improve business but also impact perceptions around trust, businesses must focus on other trust-building methods across user experiences. Most critically, this means balancing experience with security and privacy.

Great Digital Experiences Are Non-negotiable, and the Foundation for Trust in AI

Experience and trust go hand in hand. As businesses look to leverage AI to enhance users’ experiences, they must take an approach that encourages trust in new technologies through positive experiences. Today, users want experiences that balance convenience and data privacy. In fact, the overwhelming majority (87%) of users expect basic levels of data privacy to be met during online interactions. To meet these needs and establish a baseline of trust with users, businesses must start with the most visible points of entry for them: logins and customer identities.

It’s vital for leaders to prioritize digital experiences that are positive for their users. While these instances may appear seemingly harmless to businesses, the biggest points of contention for users include having to re-enter personal information (65%) and resetting passwords (64%). To alleviate the pain points associated with these frustrations, businesses must turn to solutions that visibly encourage better consumer experiences with their data.

Passkeys are a cryptographic alternative to traditional passwords – a common source of frustration – and they’re also slated to put an end to passwords in the near future. Passkeys are far more secure, can be automatically generated and safely stored on devices. They eliminate the need for users to create long, complex passwords or phrases and allow greater privacy by granting authentication without users first handing over sensitive information.

From the enterprise perspective, a fully modern CIAM solution provides a pathway toward passkeys and other critical security methods to protect customer identities. Up to 16% of those who access corporate cloud, network, and device resources can be customers, and a strong CIAM solution will ensure that access is done in a secure way while addressing challenges around friction, consistency, and anti-fraud know your customers.

Along with eliminating the friction around security processes, it’s essential to consider privacy. Data privacy has become a differentiator for businesses, and consent and preference management must be the foundation of digital interactions. A good CIAM solution will provide customers with a frictionless journey that adapts to changes in user consent and aligns with their desire for privacy rights.

How Businesses Can Prepare for AI’s Impact on Trust

AI provides an important lens into the future of emerging technology and how it can be a double-edged sword for solution providers. Amid the AI explosion, consumers are eager to allow the technology to be used to their benefit: 51% are happy for companies to use AI in order to make their experiences better. But despite that openness, 57% of global consumers are nervous that use of generative AI will put their personal data at risk. To tread the delicate line between experience and security that AI presents, there are two key areas organizations should be prioritizing focus to help maintain trust among users.

First, is classifying their data before integrating large language models (LLMs) into their processes. Data classification has historically been an uphill battle for businesses with only a third being able to fully classify all of their data. As business use of AI rises, it’s imperative that measures to support data classification are also being put in place to provide stronger visibility into where sensitive data resides and how it’s accessed. Powered by a deeper understanding of their data, providers can properly ensure that sensitive and protected customer data is never included in training data for an LLM.

Then, once guardrails are in place to keep customer data separate and secure, successful enterprise partners will be the ones who make these assurances clear to customers and keep transparent on the use of their data in all forms. When it comes to AI, consumers apprehensions around the tech are strongly tied to data concerns. This is another instance where providing customers with consent and preference management capabilities is a competitive edge, giving them direct control over what information is shared and for what purpose.

With AI increasing concerns around data risks, this allows businesses to proactively address burning questions around the relationship between the tech and customer data while simultaneously giving users control over this relationship, helping to immediately ease data fears by providing a direct view into how the two interact. This transparency helps to maintain trust as customers are not left guessing how AI will impact their personal data.

Navigating an Ever-Changing Landscape

For businesses it can feel like customer expectations, especially around trust, are in a constant state of ebb and flow. As emerging technologies continue to rapidly infiltrate businesses, leaders must develop a stronger understanding around how they will impact the ways in which customers engage with their brand.

To maintain and establish trust in our ever changing digital landscape, businesses today must adopt a holistic approach to their security strategy. Now more than ever it’s critical that business leaders ensure their security solutions not only keep their customers sensitive information secure and private but that the proactive measures that are implemented are ones that aren’t detrimental to the digital experience.

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