According to statistics, most of us who made new year’s resolutions no longer keep them. Welcome to February. Often policies and standards have a ‘resolution’ feeling to them. We make them, but then quickly forget them.
Both resolutions and standards tend to have high level language. “I’m going to run a marathon this year.” “We will seek to do no harm in our use of data.” Both are nice ideas. Even good ideas. The second one is even hard to disagree with. And yet, both often lead to little action or change.
However, people who made resolutions which were habit based are more likely to be still going with them. ‘I’m going to walk every talk for 10 minutes.’ So perhaps in the world of data policies and standards, we might have more success with ‘before we collect any data from people, we will explain why we need the data, what we do with it, and what their rights are.’ Simple, tangible, and understandable. And perhaps might just happen.