Keith Robertory is a disaster technologist and educator. He makes a strong point in behalf of data standards when he says that standards depend on the people who use them. Whether or not a standard is approved by a governing body is beside the point.
For example: “In a meeting about missing persons' data standards it was stated that if the Red Cross, Facebook and Google agreed on a standard to share data, then everyone else will follow. Not because the three organizations are a governing committee but instead they would be the three largest players in the space.”
True, none of these organizations is a governing body. But they are, in the non-organizational meaning of the word, authorities. The Red Cross is an authority on missing persons because it has worked in that area for a long time. Facebook is an authority because it's a connector of people. Google is an authority because of its reputation for organizing material.
But do these three organizations fully represent the users of missing persons data? Wouldn't some insight from police and social services be useful too? But Robertory is surely right in that looking to the major user groups for standards is the fastest way to build a standard. It's a good application of the 80:20 rule. But I'd want to see the standards setting process made more open to other users too. Robertoty