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National Data Strategy released for consultation

The UK Government has released its National Data Strategy for consultation until 2 December.

On 9 September the UK Government released its long-awaited National Data Strategy. This follows the Call for Evidence on the development of the Strategy which closed in July 2019 and a number of follow up roundtables discussions during 2019 including with techUK.

The Strategy published yesterday is a “framework for the action” government is looking to take on data issues. Recognising the importance of getting this right, a consultation has been launched on the framework outlined yesterday with input being sought on the approach and proposals being made by 2 December. Consultation questions can be found throughout the document.

The Strategy published yesterday highlights and outlines the economic and social opportunities for better use of data and data driven technology, including Digital Identity, Cloud, Data Centres and AI across the whole of the UK. It highlights five key opportunities where data has a positive role to play. These are:

  1. Boosting productivity and trade
  2. Supporting new businesses and jobs
  3. Increasing the speed, efficiency, and scope of scientific research
  4. Driving better delivery of policy and public services
  5. Creating a fairer society for all

Amongst the details outlined in these five areas, the importance of ensuring the UK’s data regime works for every individual and group in society is recognised and the importance of getting fairness, transparency and trust. The Strategy commits to addressing the need for “appropriate mechanisms” to increase transparency and accountability in “decisions made or supported by algorithmic systems”. It outlines a number actions that will be taken in partnerships with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) and other bodies.

Recognising that there are a number of “interconnected” data issues that will need to be addressed to ensure the full power of data in these areas can be realised, the Strategy introduces core pillars that will underpin the strategy. These are:

  • Data foundations – ensuring data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable
  • Data skills – ensuring people have the right data skills needed
  • Data availability – ensuring data is available, can flow (including internationally) and appropriately protection
  • Responsible data – ensuring data is used in a lawful, secure, fair and ethical way

Click here for the full press release


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