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Data: A New Direction

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On 10 September, we launched Data: a new direction, a consultation on reforms to create “a new ambitious, pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection regime in the UK”. 

This consultation is the first step in delivering on Mission 2 of the National Data Strategy which is all about securing a pro-growth and trusted data regime.

‘Data: a new direction’ covered a range of different policy challenges… 

  • Chapter 1 focused on removing barriers to innovation – setting out proposals that would offer clear rules and streamlined legislation.
  • Chapter 2 focused on reducing burdens on businesses and delivering better outcomes for people – setting out proposals for a more flexible and risk-based accountability framework, as well as proposals to ensure privacy is considered holistically rather than just as a tick-box exercise.
  • Chapter 3 focused on boosting trade and reducing barriers to data flows – setting out a range of proposals to allow the transfer of data freely and safely overseas.
  • Chapter 4 focused on delivering better public services – setting out proposals to make it simpler for public and private organisations to use and share data in the public interest.
  • Chapter 5 focused on reform of the Information Commissioner’s Office –  setting out proposals to empower the ICO to encourage the responsible use of data.

The consultation has now closed, and we’d like to thank everyone who engaged with us and responded. 

How we worked with stakeholders through the consultation period

Knowing that data policy has an impact on everyone, everywhere, we knew it was important to bring together a wide range of diverse perspectives during the consultation period. Through the National Data Strategy Forum we reached out to stakeholders to offer them the opportunity to host roundtables and events to enable discussions to support the consultation. With support from the Forum we have been able to hear and gain input from a far wider community than we could reach directly ourselves. The Government cannot do this alone and we are extremely grateful to everyone who got involved. 

Thank you to all those organisations who hosted a roundtable discussion or engagement event, including:

Ada Lovelace Institute, Bioindustry Association, British Retail Consortium, Brunswick Group Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation, Centre for Data Innovation, Centre for Information Policy Leadership, Confederation of British Industry, Data and Marketing Association, Demos, Digital Catapult Northern Ireland with Matrix Panel, Institute for Government, Open Data Institute, Open Data Manchester, Policy Connect, Privacy and Consumer Advisory Group with Open Rights Group, Royal Society, ScotlandIS, Station10, Tech Nation Wales, techUK, Teneo, UK Finance, Wales Data Leaders Network, Wellcome Trust and Which?. 

In total we worked with 26 organisations from across the UK and convened 40 events to enable discussions and share their thoughts and expertise with us. It was brilliant to see such a wide range of organisations get involved, from global think tanks and non-profit organisations to research institutes and trade bodies. Over 200 organisations participated in these events, dialling in from all corners of the UK. 

The Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, was keen to hear directly from stakeholders as part of this process. So, on Wednesday 3rd November, we held a final roundtable discussion, allowing a diverse range of organisations to present back on the major insights from their own events and roundtable discussions.

Next Steps

Once we have completed our analysis of all the consultation responses, we will publish the government’s response in Spring 2022, which will include details on our next steps as we continue to drive forward progress with Mission 2 of the National Data Strategy.

There will be plenty of other opportunities to get involved and support the implementation of the National Data Strategy. You can stay up to date on these opportunities by signing up to our NDS newsletter. If you want to get involved in future NDS Forum discussions then please contact us at ndsforumsecretariat@dcms.gov.uk

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