Trustworthiness of Systems

Sundeep Oberoi
Thursday July 5, 2023, 11.00 AM
CC 109, New CSE Building

This talk is a practitioner’s view of the concept of Trustworthiness of Systems. It presents a formulation of the concept of Trustworthiness of a System. An attempt is made to characterize the notion of “Digital” and how this idea of a Digital System presents all systems stakeholders with special challenges to Trustworthiness.

The reality of today is that very many of the critical services we use in our lives are delivered via complex ecosystems consisting of several digital systems. Most of these systems are not technical systems alone. They are complex socio-technical systems that operate within certain economic constraints, and therefore their trustworthiness aspects cannot adequately be understood in technical terms alone. Human attitudes to compliance with rules and their ability to perceive and adequately manage risk also has strong bearing on system trustworthiness and there are wide variations in these human attitudes across the globe.

Past experience has shown that systems that are absolutely not supposed to fail do fail, and with greater regularity than what we would like to believe. For example nuclear plants are not supposed to melt down. There are numerous controls both, technical and procedural, and strict regulatory oversight and yet we have witnessed Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Banks are not supposed to fail and yet they do with depressing regularity. When things do go wrong often redressal mechanisms are often found wanting.

From the perspective of public policy how do we express requirements of trustworthiness and what mechanisms can we propose to ensure that there are credible assurances of trustworthiness, and if things do indeed fail that effective redressal mechanisms are in place. 

Speaker Biography

Dr. Sundeep Oberoi is currently Adjunct Professor with the Ashank Desai Center for Policy Studies at IIT Bombay. His research interest is in the area of Digital Societies and Technology Policy

He has 36 years of industry, research and entrepreneurial experience in diverse areas of Information and Communication Technology. His experience spans a wide spectrum of experience in the Delivery Management of large and critical programmes, technology development, product development, channel development and management, business development, system integration and management of research laboratories.

He has a B.Tech degree from IIT Kanpur, M.Tech from IIT Delhi and Ph.D. in Computer Science from IIT Bombay.