Regulatory and Policy Strategy

Scaling companies and platforms with stakeholder trust

Growth and operations increasingly depend on stakeholder trust

Technology companies and platforms have unlocked incredible value for society, creating disruptive new product and service ecosystems. However, these gains have also led to unanticipated outcomes, such as the amplification of misinformation, unintended biases in artificial intelligence (AI) algorithmic distribution, and potential physical security and human rights abuses. As a consequence, stakeholder trust in platforms has suffered, potentially impacting growth (91% of business executives in PwC’s Trust survey say their ability to build and maintain trust improves the bottom line).

Stakeholder Trust: The belief that platforms create safe and reliable environments, are capable of addressing complex social dynamics, and can balance market growth and product design relative to the safety of users and society.

What we’re seeing across leading companies and platforms

Companies increasingly embrace trust as a capability and a core part of their strategy. An increased focus and overall investment in planning and operations are critical to navigating an emerging set of user, social and regulatory challenges.

Today, companies face significant headwinds that cannot be ignored:

  1. User distrust of company policy and operational decisions is increasing and requires greater transparency, planning and reporting on trade-offs 

  2. Economic uncertainty is putting pressure on platforms to rethink their products and operations to find efficiencies in planning, design and investments

  3. New and punitive regulations are designed to hold platforms accountable to local norms as well as economic and systemic security needs. 

  4. Growing technology nationalism is forcing platforms to reconsider cross-border investments, especially related to AI, data localization, talent sourcing and hardware development

To grow and scale, companies and platforms must anticipate and manage pervasive and emerging real-world harms. Today, leading companies:

  1. Proactively detect and manage malicious, abhorrent or weaponized content 

  2. Ensure accountability of sophisticated algorithms and AI models that may harm users or generate mistrust with stakeholders

  3. Promote responsible development of emerging technologies (such as augmented/virtual reality environments or blockchain networks), which may create conduct, security or privacy concerns 

  4. Drive standardization and transparency across their products and operations so that users know how their content or data is handled

  5. Harden their user ecosystems, such as cloud-based marketplaces, to simultaneously unlock revenue streams while protecting user trust across integrated technology networks

How we can help

The scale and reach of new content is greater than ever before. Trust and safety teams are responsible for managing trade-offs across a range of stakeholders, including users, regulators, academics and civil society. At PwC, we support the world’s leading platforms design and execute efficient and effective trust and safety operations. We help teams consider principles and policy, product and trust integration, effectiveness in enforcement, and transparency and reporting support. Creating a virtuous feedback loop, we help platforms throughout the cycle to more efficiently and effectively address the challenges posed to trust and safety teams. 

Leading companies balance speed and care when launching new products and services. As these solutions become more capable or essential to users, companies will shoulder greater responsibilities. Starting from a foundation of trust in emerging technologies will increasingly become tablestakes for product growth. In order to assemble a strong foundation, companies must invest in trust in the early stages of development. We help companies develop sustainable, repeatable frameworks that embed trust in emerging technologies. And we work with clients to tailor product risk assessments and horizon scans to identify and assess critical trends that impact the bottom line.

The global economy is undergoing a structural shift that multinational companies cannot ignore. Evolving geopolitical interests are ushering in a new chapter of post-globalization. We help companies ascertain how these tectonic shifts will create new opportunities as well as how their operating models can take advantage of change. PwC helps companies with scenario planning, value chain risk assessments and market growth assessments to stay ahead in an increasingly complex world.

Two major forces shaping the future of digital technologies are at odds with each other: universal integration, universal access and controlled integration, controlled access.

Companies seeking to create differentiated offerings, defend a competitive market position or even satisfy punitive regulatory and compliance obligations are left to balance distributed innovation with newer, higher standards for establishing and maintaining consumer trust.

We help companies map and navigate this complicated era of interconnectivity, build ecosystems to capture the upside of the opportunities brought, and efficiently manage the risks of operating at the scale of our digital economy.

A wave of new regulation is bearing down on the technology sector. Technology companies must be proactive when addressing regulatory compliance to prevent excessive penalties, remediation costs, stalled growth and lasting reputational damage.

Platform companies need to determine how EU regulation from the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act and others may impact their businesses. 

AI’s exponentially growing capabilities are quickly drawing the attention of regulators. Leading companies don’t react to new regulation; they anticipate new requirements and monitor progress of draft proposals. PwC helps leading technology companies with its Policy and Regulatory Intelligence capability that automates the discovery and ongoing tracking of regulation across any topic and geography.

Why you should invest in trust-led capabilities

Technology companies that strategically anticipate, plan, and manage emerging risks and headwinds will be able to sustain and grow stakeholder trust.

High performing platforms integrate product, engineering and trust functions to anticipate and manage harms. This creates opportunities to proactively integrate trust into product design, plan for operations essential to managing the stakeholder environment, and ultimately create value through new services and capabilities.

Users, society and regulators will not be patient. Platforms must invest in trust-led capabilities that ultimately help to accelerate growth and efficiency in operations in order to generate value for shareholders.

Contact us

Rahul Kapoor

Principal, Consulting Solutions, PwC US

Dan Hays

Principal, Consulting Solutions, PwC US

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