Data Responsibility: Treat your data like your daughter..

IBM has published in their policy blog, a piece about Data Responsibility. In this, they seek to address the questions about data in the cloud age. First, a personal note.

We are lucky to live in a lovely part of the world, with a community that looks out for each other. But even so, when my teenage daughter is out and about, there are still times when you think seriously about her well-being. Balanced against this is her privacy and freedom. We want her to be safe, but also want her to experience life in her way. So we between us a plan and a process that helps us stop worrying and her to avoid excessive parental oversight.

So even though we can find out where she is through her phone (which never leaves her side), we instead send a text. The text is mostly to remind her that we think she should be home (or at least starting out towards it). But it also prevents us just looking at her location without a little bit of thought.  And imagine what she would think about her overbearing parents if we trawled through past locations as well as current. This is a part of our parental responsibility.

But that doesn’t stop the thoughts of “Where is she? What is she doing? Why isn’t she home yet?”

Perhaps we should have the same questions about our data, especially in the era of the cloud. Where is it? What is it doing? Why doesn’t it appear to be fully ours? (That last question also applies to teenagers forging their own identity, too). Perhaps some data responsibility is needed too.

IBM’s policy covers some of these answers, and others as well. Having worked with customer data for over 105 years, IBM stewards data repositories for the largest companies.

Their data responsibility policy covers:

  • Data Ownership
  • Data Privacy
  • Cross-Border Data Flows
  • Government Access to Data
  • Data Encryption and Trust
  • Data and Artificial Intelligence
  • and finally, Data and New Collar Jobs

The data economy is evolving rapidly, and new technologies are changing the way we live and work – and so these views on data responsibility will continue to evolve. By offering this comprehensive view of our principles and practices, we aim to spark dialogue across all sectors of society. And we will continue to earn the trust of our clients and the communities in which we work in moving, storing, managing, analyzing and learning from the data that powers the modern world, and the new capabilities – in both technology and business – that offer so much promise for turning it into economic value and societal progress. – IBM Data Responsibility

Do you know where your data is? Do you know what it is doing? Perhaps it’s time to find out?