My partner Brad and I were talking about Trust this week. It’s the missing piece on the Internet today. Viruses, spam, spyware, comment spam, etc are all problems that point to the lack of trust. We wonder who is going to solve this problem.

One name we came up with is eBay. I was telling Brad about the way I scrounged some tickets to the Wilco show. I bought them from a woman I’ve never met who I paid in advance with PayPal and who showed up at the appointed time and place to give me the tickets. Why did I know that would happen? Because her seller’s rating was perfect and she’d sold a lot of stuff on eBay. I figured why would she start screwing around now?

In fact, eBay is the most trusted Internet company according to the Ponemon Institute and the nonprofit TRUSTe, which polled more than 6,300 consumers for a study of trust on the Internet.

Could eBay take its seller ratings and profiles and do more with them? I don’t know. It’s hard at first blush to see how that is going to solve viruses, spam, spyware, and a ton of other trust-related issues. But it’s worth thinking and talking about.

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