Call for Papers „The Case for e-Trust: a New Ethical Challenge“

Call for Papers for a Special Issue with Ethics and Information Technology on „The Case for e-Trust: a New Ethical Challenge“

Trust in digital environments (e-trust) affects the activities of millions of individuals involving a wide range of social dynamics. This pervasive phenomenon raises new ethical problems, such as the occurrence of e-trust relationships between human and artificial agents and the emergence of trust in on-line contexts.

The ethical debate on e-trust has been characterised by the tension between two opposite positions. One considers e-trust as a different phenomenon from trust. It argues that trust requires embodied interactions characterised by emotional, cultural and physical aspects and hence that trust could not arise in digital contexts, where such kinds of interactions are impossible. The other position rejects the assumption of embodied interactions as a necessary condition for the occurrence of trust, and focuses on the analysis of the main characteristics and of the ethical features of e-trust.

The purpose of this special issue of Ethics and Information Technology, entitled “The Case for e-Trust: a New Ethical Challenge”, is to address explicitly the issues concerning the ethical nature of e-trust.

Submitted papers are requested to explore issues concerning the following research questions:
1. What are the fundamental and distinctive aspects of e-trust?
2. Should e-trust be regarded as an occurrence of trust on-line or as an independent phenomenon in itself?
3. What are the ethical implications of e-trust?
4. To what extent artificial agents can be involved in an e-trust relationship?
5. What is the influence, if any, of the context on the emergence of e-trust?

Submissions will be double-blind refereed for relevance to the theme as well as academic rigor and originality. High quality articles not deemed to be sufficiently relevant to the special issue may be considered for publication in a subsequent non-themed issue of Ethics and Information Technology.

Closing date for submissions: March 1st 2010

To submit your paper, please use the Springer online submission system, to be found at