Ron DeHaas president of Covenant Eyes answers the question “What is accountability”

Accountability is designed to help you build relationship so that you can change your own behaviour, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” It’s a way to monitor you internet use with a friend/colleague looking out for you, rather than trying to do it “cold turkey,” on your own.

Originally a geologist, Ron DeHaas was a pioneer of the concept of accountability software, and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000. The organisation now helps thousands of people around the world to monitor their internet use via either filtering or accountability software installed on smart devices and computers.

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To find out more about accountability software options visit our software help page.


Accountability is a two way street, designed to build relationships and also designed to change your own behaviour. So accountability involves two different people. It involves a person being held accountable and a person who is holding that person acceptable. And in order to actually change behaviour in order to manage you own internet use, for instance accountability on the internet.

In order to manage your internet use, you must provide data for that management. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. And so accountability, let’s say I’m holding you accountable. There is a quote by a fellow I’ve just finished this book B J Fogg, Persuasive Technology, and he says if aspirations are to be achieved progress needs to be measured. And accountability provides data for measurement.

That data might be my observation of you directly or it might be a report on the internet. But whatever the means is of providing data for measuring your behaviour that allows me as your accountability partner to help you modify, help you plan how to modify your own behaviour. That’s what accountability is. It builds our relationship.