How does Lyft get drivers to taxi strangers off the street? How does Airbnb get homeowners to give strangers their house keys? Are people becoming more trustworthy or is it something else? Wired’s article “How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other” sheds some light.

“Many of these companies have us engaging in behaviors that would have seemed unthinkably foolhardy as recently as five years ago.“ - Wired

In the past, the Internet was a place to meet and connect with strangers in an online environment, but in the modern era, leaders of the sharing economy aim to move these connections offline as well. The sharing economy exists because real people want to connect face-to-face with other real people and engage safely in a transaction of trust. And in this world, there is no room for anonymity. Therefore a finely tuned system was orchestrated and built upon rewards, punishments, and complex algorithms, to enable what is now known as the sharing economy. This experimental movement has since grown into an burgeoning industry that both regulatory bodies and economists are still struggling to make sense of.

Starting with eBay, peer-to-peer commerce sites needed to find a way to induce trust among their community without the added friction caused by traditional means of verification common in the technology sector at that time.

“eBay couldn’t require everyone with a few extra Beanie Babies to go through the regulatory rigmarole of establishing themselves as a licensed shopkeeper.” - Wired

This meant creating their own centralized trust infrastructure. They became an active part of every transaction and instead of depending upon the trustworthiness of fellow internet denizens buyers and sellers could depend on a new system that would eventually guarantee a successful transaction. However, this is an expensive undertaking which is not an option for most companies. Finding an alternative that balances security with friction as well as cost has become paramount in enabling the sharing economy flourish.

Trulioo provides a solution that enables all of this through the validation of social identities. Currently, it can be all too easy to fake your identity either by creating fake profiles to make fraudulent purchases, boosting business profiles with pseudo positive reviews, or simply spamming. Trulioo’s TruDetect runs in the background of the social registration process and uses a patented algorithm to analyze the social profile and provide a score based on the users authenticity. This authenticity score enables businesses to determine whether a person’s account is authentic, machine generated, or fraudulent in real-time. Using this layer of verification means that e-commerce sites will now be able to minimize the creation of multiple accounts, focus marketing efforts and prevent common fraudulent activity.

Test out TruDetect today and receive 2,500 free scores with the TruDetect API.

For more information see Wired’s How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other