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Government refresh Digital Ethics Framework

Government Digital Service (GDS) launch updated Digital Ethics Framework.

Following a series of stakeholder engagement workshops the Government Digital Service (GDS) has published a refreshed version of the Digital Ethics Framework. This guidance is aimed at anyone working directly or indirectly with data in the public sector, including those helping produce data-informed insight.

Key changes from the 2018 version include:

  • Introducing overarching principles that apply to every stage of the work with data, and specific actions that have been reordered to reflect the project cycle.
  • The format of the Framework has been changed - the 2020 version now asks users to consider specific questions about the project. As a supplement to the Framework, GDS have introduced a glossary with key terms used in the document, and published the methodology for the refresh onto GOV.UK.
  • The Framework is accompanied by an editable template designed to help users capture their answers and share learnings, progress, challenges, and achievements. This document can be kept with project records, published alongside other key documents, and shared with the GDS Data Ethics Team in order to help gather case studies and measure the impact of the Framework.

Following the refresh of the Framework, GDS are now working to embed it within the existing data science and analytical processes in the public sector; increase data ethics capabilities through data ethics skills training; and facilitate knowledge sharing through building a cross-government data ethics community.

If you have any ideas on how and where we could embed the Framework, get in touch with the team here


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