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APPG on Data Analytics launch new Trust, Transparency and Tech report

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics and Policy Connect have launched a joint report on 'Trust, Transparency and Technology.'

Yesterday the APPG on Data Analytics, in collaboration with Policy Connect, published its report: Trust, Transparency and Technology: Building Data Policies for the Public Good.

The report proposes 9 recommendations in three key areas relating to: public services ‘licence to operate’, the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation’s workplan and the role of parliament.

These recommendations were formed via a series of roundtable discussions, chaired by Darren Jones MP and Lee Rowley MP, on four key sectors: autonomous vehicles, healthcare, education, and policing. The key recommendations put forward to help build public confidence in accountable data and technology roll outs include:

  • Organisations providing public services should address ethics as part of their ‘licence to operate’, displaying high standards for how they apply and use data-intensive technology.
  • The citizen should have a ‘right to explanation’, via a duty on all those delivering public services to provide easy to understand information on the factors taken into account in algorithm-based ‘black-box’ decisions as they affect the individual.
  • There should be clear lines of accountability on data and algorithm use to the top of every organisation providing public services, including accessible complaints and redress processes.
  • MPs should have a tough Parliamentary scrutiny committee set up like the accounts committee or environmental audit committee – to make sure the public is protected. This could be part of the Science & Technology or Digital, Culture, Media & Sport committee remits, or a new committee.

Commenting on the launch of the report, Sue Daley, Associate Director, Technology and Innovation, techUK, yesterday said:

"This report raises a number of significant issues that warrant further discussion. It is clear that building and maintaining public trust and confidence in advanced data-driven technologies is key to the UK realising its ambition of being a world-leader in AI."

"The implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has already played a key role. It has increased citizen rights and control over their data, particularly in relation to automated decision-making. However, if we are to grow public trust and confidence, we must better explain AI decision-making processes to citizens. techUK is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Alan Turing Institute to develop new guidance to help organisations explain decisions made by AI systems and is supporting the CDEI as its work programme progresses."

"Independent challenge and scrutiny of work is key. In our response to the CDEI on its strategy, techUK called for the Centre to report annually to Government. However, rather than create a new standalone Parliamentary Select Committee to assess privacy and ethical issues, we would encourage all Parliamentary Committees to consider these important issues as part of their work.”

Policy Connect and the APPG on Data Analytics are planning to do a series of follow-up workshops to discuss how the recommendations can be taken forward. If you’d like to find out more, please contact Katherine.


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