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Public Sector: Artificial Intelligence

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 114874, tabled on 12 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on the transparency of algorithmic decisions in public services.

Answered on

24 November 2020

The ambitious digital package negotiated in the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) includes protections against the forced transfer of source code and coded algorithms. This means that UK businesses will not be forced to share their source code as a condition of entering the Japanese market and serves to protect companies’ trade secrets. As a consequence, these companies can be confident they will retain any competitive advantage that their source code provides.

However the agreement also ensures that the government is still able to access the source code and algorithms when needed in order to monitor adherence to, and enforce, laws and regulations.