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Data Sharing: Getting the UK back on the right track

In this paper, techUK and members set out policy recommendations to set the UK back on the right track to be a world leader in open data.

Data is being produced and stored at an unprecedented pace. Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), suggests that data access and sharing can create 20 to 50 times more value for the wider economy, and help to generate social and economic benefits worth between 1% and 2.5% of GDP.

The importance of data sharing and data access is not just increasing amongst high growth firms; existing businesses, Government, and the public sector are ever more reliant on personal and non-personal data to drive research, develop emerging technologies such as AI and offer better services to citizens, such as more resilient healthcare services, smarter cities and solutions that can help make our environment greener.

Facilitating the right data governance framework, market environment and culture of trust for data sharing will be vital in enabling the UK to become a global leader in data sharing and governance.

The Government has made a good start in identifying barriers to private ane public sector data sharing, and by outlining key Missions in the National Data Strategy including Mission 1, Unlocking the value of data across the economy, and Mission 3, Transforming government’s use of data to drive efficiency and improve public services. While techUK has welcomed these core Missions of the NDS, current efforts and policy-making that should aim to deliver these benefits, risks losing momentum and undermining the ambitions of the Government.

Action here is required as while the UK was once a leader in debates around open data, we are now falling behind key competitors in our ability to lead global debates on future data governance. For example, the European Union (EU) is investing heavily in its data infrastructure and capabilities and developing legislation and regulation to enable private and public sector data sharing at a faster pace than the UK.

In this Whitepaper, techUK and our members set out policy recommendations that will help to facilitate a more focused and coherent approach to data sharing that can ensure the value and benefits of increased data use are enjoyed across the entire economy and society.

Neil Ross, techUK:

The benefits and potential of responsible data sharing are clear. Already data sharing projects have helped support the UK’s response to the pandemic, drive greater financial inclusion and help us move toward achieving our net zero ambitions. However, there are more benefits to be gained if we can go further. To do this techUK has provided a number of suggestions for Government to encourage responsible data sharing. This can be done by delivering on commitments to legislate for Smart Data Schemes, as well as facilitate the right data governance framework, market environment and culture of trust to support both private and public sector data sharing.


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