• Chief Trust Officer

last modified February 6, 2014 by tomlowenhaupt

If New York is to be considered a City of Trust within the digital realm, transformations by all sectors of society are required. The person to lead these is the Chief Trust Officer. Here we explore the role and responsibilities of the CTO.

The CTO's Extended Staff


Success in building a trusted digital city will require a collaborative effort:

  • 8,200,000 Stakeholders (aka residents) who realize their city's future is tied into the success of its Internet presence.
  • A TLD-Watch (aka trained moderators) to monitor the city's digital presence and act when spotting illegal or inappropriate content.
  • A 300,000 strong civic workforce that educates and enforces current city law and regulations as applied to the Internet.
Trust Buttons


Enter any store in New York and you'll see signs like the above that provide assurance and recourse should something go wrong. Depending upon the store's functions, these might reference the Department of Health, the Department of Consumer Affairs, or a handful of other agencies. The existence of these agencies and posting of signs reflects the city's long experience with possible abuses.

To create a City of Trust, New York should mandate, as a condition of using the .nyc TLD, the placement of Trust Buttons on every .nyc web page. For more, see Trust Buttons

Reeling under a continuing onslaught of malware and concerned about the Snowden privacy violation revelations, Internet users globally desire a safe port for their digital activities. New York has the opportunity to build upon its historic position as a safe port to become a City of Trust  for digital transactions and experiences.

The prerequisite for a City of Trust is a recognition and acceptance by the city administration that the .nyc TLD is part of the city's brand, that a crime or violation of trust on a website using the .nyc TLD is no different than a pickpocket or swindle in Times Square. Both equally damage the city's brand.

    The initial step toward creating a City of Trust is the appointment of a Chief Trust Officer or CTO. The CTO's role is to coordinate with government agencies, the private sector, civil society, and residents the development of projects and programs that enhance trust of the city of New York.

    Assurance and Recourse

    Responsibilities of the CTO shall include engagement with privacy, data governance, information security, fraud and product abuse management. Appropriate use policies, customer care, and accessibility policies for the disabled are also within the purview. Responsibilities shall include:

      • Create an environment that assures visitors to .nyc websites that the city is a trustworthy place to visit, conduct work, and purchase products and services. Such assurance shall be based on privacy and security standards developed in open and transparent manor with all city residents.
      • Articulate privacy issues for the city of New York.
      • Coordinate tying the traditional city regulatory structures into support for the .nyc TLD, e.g., Consumer Affairs, NYPD, 311.
      • Educate of residents as to the importance of the city's TLD to the city's brand, and how the efficacy of the brand impacts upon the city's economic and social quality of life.
      • Develop a TLD-Watch program, modeled after the Block-Watch safety programs, where residents are trained to identify and report online violations.
      • Design Trust Buttons for .nyc websites, including guidance for their language, look, and placement.
      • Coordinating joint endeavors with CTOs of other global cities.
      • Coordinate the marketing of the City of Trust with the city's marketing officer.
      • Facilitate the enforcement of stated standards through the traditional regulatory channels, and/or the creation of new ones if necessary.

        Key .nyc Pages