There is a practical and challenging balancing act between data minimisation (collecting only the data you need) and the knowledge that while analysing a dataset new questions arise. What we can learn emerges as we dig into the data. This raises the desire to collect a ‘little more data’ and hold onto it a ‘little longer’. It is easy to ask if it’s ok, which it will be because the power differential is so great the other doesn’t feel like there is a choice.
And this tension brings us back to the role of trust in so much of life – do we trust the other person or organisation with our data? However, trust is too often viewed as woolly, intangible, hard to measure, which it is, but that doesn’t mean it might just be the most important thing we have.