Trustmark Progress Log for August 2018

What has been happening with the Trustable Technology mark, ThingsCon's IoT trustmark project? We are committed to developing this and learning out in the open. Learn more about this project on the ThingsCon IoT Trustmark page. You can read all other trustmark updates on the ThingsCon blog or over on the ThingsCon channel on Medium. This research is conducted as part of my Mozilla Fellowship.

Progress & activities

We're putting a human expert in the loop! After discussions with other orgs that have undertaken similar efforts, we are convinced we can check all incoming applications before they are approved. I had been in favor but so skeptical about the workload involved that I had proposed only checking ex-post. I now trust we found a way to make it work. This may not sound like it but is a big shift in the mental model: This way we add a layer of quality control, increase resilience and robustness, and increase the overall trustworthiness of our own processes. (A big deal if you're issuing trustmarks!) Maybe most importantly on the practical level, this allows us to have an open line of communications with all applicants that will allow us to ask for clarifications where needed, and to get a better feeling for the organizations and individuals who apply. We've updated the slide deck to reflect that change. A special thank you to Michael Weinberg of OSHWA for taking the time to share some priceless first-hand insights and experiences in community-driven certification.

The current overview presentation:


  • We hugely streamlined the process for the trustmark, specifically to reflect valuable input from OSHWA, Jason, and from various ThingsCon Salon participants.
  • We're testing the trustmark application with the first real companies to gather lots more of valuable feedback.
  • We're working on our "Theory of Trust", an explainer of how we approach the underlying assessment criteria, etc.

Upcoming events/appearances

We'll be talking Trustable Tech at Mozfest London (26-28 Oct 2018) and the annual ThingsCon Conference in Rotterdam (6-7 Dec 2018).

Next steps

  • Test application process with more real-world products.
  • Sign up more launch partners.