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techUK on the Future of Data Governance for the UK

techUK’s discussion paper on the future of data governance aims to drive the debate in the UK as it enters a new era in its history.

At the core of the paper entitled Trust, innovation, and global leadership: getting data governance right in the UK in 2021, is the idea that the UK must take action to position itself as a pioneer in developing an agile and living data protection system which supports innovation and promotes privacy.

Once able to embrace a greater synergy between privacy and innovation, the UK will be able to guide, steer, and influence the global debate about the direction of data governance in a way which protects the global digital economy and guards against the fragmentation of the internet.

To realise the full potential of advanced data-driven digital technologies and achieve the aims set out in the National Data Strategy, the UK must engage in a detailed conversation with industry to ensure that it’s data governance framework is fit for purpose for what comes next in an ever-changing world.  

The discussion paper outlines key areas for action to help the UK position itself at the forefront of achieving a living data governance system underpinned by solid principles and objectives, including:

  • Supporting and encouraging data driven innovation, by expanding the use of sandboxes and creating a Data Governance Forum between industry and government, civil society and the public to steer our approach to data.
  • Increasing trust through a meaningful and proportionate approach to data protection, by rethinking the paper-work of privacy to ensure firms focus their efforts on meaningful steps to secure data rather than form filling; reviewing the legal bases for data processing to suit the modern economy; and reviewing the laws, such as the Cookies law, to assess whether they provide meaningful benefits for privacy or not.
  • Becoming a leader in the global debate on data, by creating a globally-orientated data transfer framework and leveraging our alliances and trade agenda post-Brexit to support international schemes for trusted data sharing.

Commenting on the discussion paper, CEO Julian David said:

“techUK’s discussion paper on the future of data governance lays the groundwork for the direction the UK should take to become a pioneer in developing a world class data governance system which respects privacy, strikes the right balance between trust and innovation, and crucially continues to guide and support organisations to understand better the existing data protection requirements.”

“As the world emerges from the global pandemic and prepares for other challenges such as climate change, data governance will become more prominent in the discussions between world leaders. With the UK preparing to host the G7 and COP26 this year, there has never been a more important time to position the UK as a leader in this global debate on data."

Minister for Media and Data John Whittingdale said: 

"We're committed to unlocking the huge potential of data to improve lives while maintaining our high governance standards. I welcome techUK's contribution to the important debate on how best to achieve this.

Through our National Data Strategy we are working closely with industry and civil society groups as we lead the way on the innovative, efficient and responsible use of data for the public good."

The full discussion paper could be accessed here.

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