On 24 November the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published a policy paper entitled National Data Strategy Mission 1 Policy Framework: Unlocking the value of data across the economy. DCMS states that the document provides a framework for government action to set the correct conditions to make private and third sector data more usable, accessible and available across the UK’s economy while protecting people’s data rights and private enterprises’ intellectual property, in line with Mission 1 of the National Data Strategy.
The framework is divided into two main components:
Principles for intervention: A set of principles that the government will use to guide interventions seeking to unlock data across the economy, to ensure it employs the most effective approach to deliver public benefit. These principles are based on six "levers" for intervention proposed by research commissioned by DCMS:
- Improve knowledge and understanding of data sharing
- Reduce costs of data sharing through better data foundations
- Support (new) ways of addressing the risks of data sharing
- Improve or demonstrate incentives for data sharing
- Reduce (perceived) regulatory burden associated with data sharing
- Mandate data sharing in the public interest, by identifying datasets of national importance or public interest
Priority areas for action: Building on the above, DCMS has identified some priorities which will shape how the government seeks to deliver Mission 1 of the National Data Strategy. These priority areas of action are divided into four "buckets":
- Establish foundations
- Promote the development and use of good data standards so that data is held, processed and shared according to FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) principles.
- Support infrastructure
- Encourage the development and uptake of Privacy Enhancing Technologies.
- Support the development of a thriving intermediary ecosystem that enables responsible data sharing.
- Support the development of infrastructure that promotes the availability of data for research and development purposes.
- Encourage the market
- Use incentives to maximise value for money data sharing in support of public good
- Support effective and well-functioning markets by addressing data practices that distort competition and consumer outcomes — including by widening access to data, where appropriate
- Lead, co-operate and collaborate
- Learn from international partners and develop international cooperation to support the UK’s data agenda on the world stage.
While this policy paper does not change data protection law at this time, we will monitor the government's implementation of these stated priorities and report in future issues of DWF Data Protection Insights. In the meantime, if your organisation would like advice on how to enter into data sharing arrangements in accordance with the law, please contact one of our privacy specialists. We have a lot of recent experience in this area, including representing a public sector client in its data sharing initiatives to support "data saves lives" COVID research.