Enhancing the Trustworthiness and Effectiveness of Internet Services | Rutgers University Innovation Ventures

Enhancing the Trustworthiness and Effectiveness of Internet Services


Invention Summary:

For an internet service to attract clients, it must generate a degree of trust in the services it provides. Such trust can be the consequence of good and solid reputation of a service. But only a small percentage of internet services can garner such reputation. A service may try to gain the trust of potential clients by making suitable promises, writing them on its website. But there is no good reason for potential clients to trust such promises of most services. This situation makes it very hard for the vast majority of services to compete with the few reputable ones. So many vendors opt to operate under popular services like Amazon.com, under unfavorable conditions.

To address this situation, Rutgers researcher, Dr. Naftaly Minsky, have developed a mechanism that enables practically any Internet service to make a useful range of promises regarding its services, which can be justifiably trusted by practically any Internet client—even if these clients have no knowledge of, or trust in, the service itself. A promise made by this mechanism is called a pledge, and the mechanism itself is called a PleM (for Pledging Mechanism). The infrastructure of PleM constitutes Trust-as-a-Service (TaaS), as it enables arbitrary services to make themselves trustworthy to arbitrary clients.

The types of pledges supported by PleM are those that deal with the interaction between a service and its clients.  Examples of such pledges include: preservation of privacy, accountability, money back guaranties, quality of service, fair exchange, and many others.

This type of solution might be a hosted subscription service, like the services provided by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, or as an on-premise (commercial) software product.

Advantages, for clients and for servers:

  • Clients benefit from using services that make pledges that are suitable for them, because it provides them a degree of trust in that service.
  • Services would benefit by being able to attract more clients, which would enable them to compete, even against established reputable services.

Technology Market for a TaaS Services:

  • To be effective, the infrastructure of PleM needs to be hosted--implemented and maintained--by a highly reputable organization, which would provide services the means for making pledges, for a fee.
  • The host of the infrastructure of PleM can, in particular be some cloud computing service such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:
The technology is patent pending and is available for licensing and/or research collaboration

Patent Information: