The thesis uses the new concept of transitivity of trust with a holistic approach to develop the W3 Trust Model, a trust profiling framework, that links public key infrastructure, metadata, relevance, fading factors and trust categories to likelihood of trustworthiness of web contents of online service providers. The applicability and usefulness of the W3 Trust Model is then argued through its applications to a variety of cases drawn from trust management, graphical user interface design and computer science in trust literature as well as a hypothetical case study that provided the initial stimulus for the W3 Trust Model's development. It is shown that the model is capable of providing a general calculation framework for various formulae based on different theories.
It is shown that the W3 Trust Model addresses identified needs, narrows identified gaps of some existing approaches and provides a mechanism to inclusively embrace other existing and potential approaches and techniques on trust management in an eCommerce environment.
Through Web content trustworthiness analysis, both users and providers of eCommerce can be confident that there is a general way to assess trustworthiness, which may be used as a possible basis for standardized Websites of Web-based services to ensure trust and transitivity of trust in an eCommerce environment. Hence, both providers and users of Web-based services can mutually benefit from the proposed W3 Trust Model.