Data sharing is not about sharing data

by | Apr 28, 2021 | Change, ICT4D |


Data sharing between organisations is not about sharing data. It is about trust. Not blind trust like ‘Trust me because I’m wearing a shirt with a logo on it’. It is solid and foundational where words, mindsets, and behaviours consistently align. And this takes time and tough conversations.

The legal agreement is the easy part. The technological solution is also the easy part. Trust is the hard part, especially when the people and context are always changing. It comes with consequences. Positive consequences when we continue to build it. And negative consequences when it is broken.

Data sharing is about trusting the other to do what they say they will with the data you share. To use it for the purpose agreed and delete it when the purpose is fulfilled. This is true whether we use paper, USB sticks, email, APIs, or any other means.

And it is often built through a multitude of means. There is no silver bullet. Conversations, debates, integrity, working together, having policies and legal agreements, and so on. And time.

Data sharing is not about sharing data. It is about extending trust. And it is scary. But trust always is.

Photo by Robert Collins


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