I am pleased to inform the House that the Government is today publishing our response to the public consultation on the UK National Data Strategy and laying the Information Commissioner’s Office, Data Sharing Code of Practice.
Government response to the public consultation on the National Data Strategy
The National Data Strategy, published in September 2020, set out a framework for action to maximise the power of responsible data use across the UK. It also launched a 13 week consultation which closed in December 2020. We received 282 unique responses from across the public sector, civil society, industry and academia, as well as from members of the general public. Consultation feedback has confirmed that our framework is fit for purpose. Many respondents also recognised the need to rebalance the narrative, moving away from thinking about data use primarily as a threat to be managed, and instead recognising data as an asset that, used responsibly, can deliver economic and public benefits across the UK.
The government response to the consultation builds on the insights we received, and details how we will deliver across our priority areas of action in such a way that builds public trust and ensures that the opportunities from better data use work for everyone, everywhere. This includes setting out our plans to create a National Data Strategy Forum which will ensure that a diverse range of perspectives continue to inform the strategy’s implementation. The response also reflects on the crucial role of data in building back better after the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the coming months, we will publish focused updates on progress in delivering specific missions and/or actions within the National Data Strategy.
Data Sharing Code of Practice
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent data protection regulator and has a statutory duty under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) to produce a code of practice that provides practical guidance on data sharing. Today, the government has laid the ICO’s data sharing code in Parliament. Alongside the laying of the code, the ICO has launched a data sharing information hub on its website, where organisations and businesses can find clear guidance and practical tools on how to share data fairly, lawfully and transparently, while protecting people’s personal information.
The Government is committed to working with the ICO to promote responsible data sharing which can have benefits for the economy and the delivery of public services. The National Data Strategy recognised that better use of data can help organisations of every kind succeed – across the public, private and third sectors. Data can be a driver of scientific and technological innovation, and central to the delivery of a whole range of vital public services and societal goals, from tackling climate change to supporting the National Health Service.
A copy of each document will be placed in the library of the House today.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords