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The CDEI launches its first Strategy and Work Programme

Further detail on the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation's 19/20 Work Programme and 2-year Strategy.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) yesterday published its 19/20 Work Programme and 2-year Strategy, setting out priorities and ways of working for its first year.

The role of the Centre will be to analyse and anticipate opportunities and potential risks posed by data-driven technology and put forward practical and evidence-based advice to address them. It will do this by taking a broad view of the landscape while also completing two in-depth policy reviews, on online targeting and bias. This work will be underpinned by public engagement and cross-sector collaboration to amplify impact.

The planned work for the Centre can broadly be split into two key functions:

  1. The Analyse and Anticipate function will identify and map the highest priority opportunities for strengthening ethical and innovative uses of data-driven technology and produce short thematic reports in response to live or urgent issues. This includes identifying trends and applications that are most likely to undermine public trust. The first outputs from this area of work will be published in Autumn 2019, after which they will continue to expand and refine this.
  2. The Centre will conduct two in-depth policy reviews to help identify and articulate best practice for the responsible use of data-driven technology within specific sectors. It will consider any gaps in governance and make recommendations to the government as well as advice to regulators, creators and users of data-driven technology as to how to address those gaps.

Review 1: Targeting review

Through this review, the Centre plans to explore where, how and why online targeting approaches are used, identify current and potential benefits and harms - to individuals and society - associated with them, and consider alternative governance frameworks that encourage responsible innovation and minimise risks of harm.

The Centre will work closely with organisations who are undertaking similar work, including private sector organisations carrying out online targeting activities such as online advertising, search and news feed optimisation and personalised recommendations.

An interim report will be published by Summer 2019, and a final report, including recommendations to Government, by December 2019.

Review 2: Bias Review

Using a literature review, applied technical research and public engagement workshops, the Centre plans to investigate algorithmic bias in various sectors which may include: financial services, local government, recruitment, and crime and justice.

It aims to support the development of technical means for identifying algorithmic bias and produce recommendations to government about how any potential harms can be identified and minimised. An interim report will be published by Summer 2019, and a final report, including recommendations to government, by March 2020.

During techUK’s next Digital Ethics Working Group meeting on Monday 25 March, we will be joined by Ollie Buckley Deputy Director, Digital Charter and Data Ethics at DCMS, where we will discuss opportunities for techUK to help support the Centre’s new strategy and work programme. If you’d like to attend this meeting, please get in touch with


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