a safe environment in which to test new ideas



“Several (Chinese) cities have launched regulatory “SANDBOXES” to test new technologies before they are deployed widely. The state looks set to dominate these.”

The Economist

“The challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and post-COVID-19 require new, innovative and digital regulatory tools and oversight. One such tool, the regulatory SANDBOX concept, has been gaining traction among data protection authorities, other regulators and policymakers from Asia to Europe."

IAPP Asia Privacy Forum Online 2021

Did you


- a separate part of a computer system where software can be tested without any risk of it harming the whole system

- a hole in the ground, or a box, filled with sand in which children can play

Cambridge Dictionary


‘Sandbox’ started out as a military expression in the 19th century. It describes a table-top box of sand on which attack and defence plans could be demonstrated.


- bury one’s head in the sand = to deliberately ignore the reality of a situation; to pretend a problem does not exist.

- build on sand = to put something in an unstable position by failing to give it a secure foundation.

- bring sand to the beach = to take something that is plentiful at the destination.

- draw a line in the sand = to create a boundary and to imply or declare that its crossing will provoke a (negative) response.

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Before going live, our developers are testing the new system in a safe SANDBOX environment.”

THANKS to Birgit for suggesting today’s OWAD.

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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