‘Do not buy chickens until you know how your electric fence works, until you have housing and feed for them. If you don’t, you lose your newly bought chickens within days. They will run away, be eaten by predators, or starve. Chickens or any farm animal do not fend for themselves, you have a responsibility for them.’ This was the opening statement by a permaculture farmer on a video.
A similar statement can be made about data. Don’t collect data about people until you know how you will use, store, protect, delete it. And don’t use fancy digital technology until you know how it works. If you don’t, the data will be used for things it was never intended to be used for or won’t be used at all or will end up in the hands of the wrong people. Data and digital solutions are not shiny toys you play with for a day and then ignore them. No, they come with responsibilities that you are taken on. If you don’t like or want those responsibilities, that is completely ok. But then don’t collect data or use the solution.
Not everyone wants or needs to raise chickens. The same is true about data.
The choice is up to us.