About the Online Trust Coalition

An initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the public-private partnership project Partnering Trust.

Cloud and online are part of every technical and societal development. The Online Trust Coalition recognises that cloud and online services (hereinafter: cloud services) form part of virtually all digital innovations. Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are booming precisely because storage, computational power and smart algorithms are available in the cloud. Cloud services are essential for solving today’s societal challenges. That’s why cloud services also lie at the foundation of the ambitions outlined in the Netherlands Digitisation Strategy. 

The Online Trust Coalition realises that it’s extremely difficult for users and other stakeholders (such as consumers, citizens, finance providers, shareholders, auditors, and also regulators) to obtain assurance about the reliability of cloud services, on the basis of the accountability information issued by providers. The difficulty for cloud service providers is that stakeholders often request multiple items of evidence to prove that all legislation and regulations are complied with.

The lack of clarity creates barriers against the use of cloud services, thereby inhibiting innovation. It also creates an uneven playing field: it’s difficult for smaller European providers and innovative newcomers to prove their reliability, which means they sometimes can’t compete so well with large, established parties.

Governments, business and the science sector are working together in the Online Trust Coalition to bring about change in this. The urgency to collaborate is being enhanced by European developments. In February 2020, the European Commission announced a strategy for data and AI. Cloud services have been assigned a central role in this. Given the ambition of the Netherlands to be frontrunner in Europe in the area of digitisation, plus its strong position in this field, it’s only natural that the country should be proactively and intensively involved in the implementation of this European strategy.

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Help shape methods for cloud service providers to demonstrate that their services are reliable, secure, and support the customer validation process.
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